Washington (April 30, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey
(D-Mass.) released the following statement after the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) released a proposed final order on implementing the more than $7
distance learning program that Senator Markey fought to
include in the American Rescue Plan.
proposal released today is an important step towards ensuring the ‘homework
gap’ does not grow into a more damaging learning and opportunity gap for our
children, particularly those who live in communities of color, low-income
households, and rural areas. We are now
one step closer to deploying the more than $7 billion that was included in the
American Rescue Plan for K-12 distance learning. This essential funding will
help equip all of our children with the technology and tools they need to
succeed and continue their studies from home. I thank Acting Chairwoman
Rosenworcel for her hard work to ensure the Commission meets its statutory
deadline and call on the full Commission to vote on this proposal without
Since E-Rate began more than two decades ago, more
than $54 billion has been committed nationwide -- including nearly $770 million
in Massachusetts -- to provide internet access for schools and libraries.
Senator Markey is the author of the original E-Rate program, which was created
as a part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The program was originally
designed to connect schools and libraries to the Internet.