FCC money comes from a restructure of an existing program

The FCC has announced that it plans to double the amount of money it spends to bring high-speed internet and wireless connectivity into schools and libraries around the country. The Obama administration had previously promised that it would provide web access to about 20 million students around the country in 15,000 different schools.
The FCC is restructuring the E-Rate program, which generates $2.4 billion yearly in funding to provide money for advanced telecommunications and information services, in order to pay for the increase. As a result, the portion reserved for schools and libraries doubles from $1 billion to $2 billion yearly.
E-Rate is part of the Universal Service Fund that provides connectivity in rural areas and for low-income citizens. Fees attached to everyone’s phone bill help to fund it.
The spending increase in 2014 for schools will reportedly come from funds left over from previous years that went unspent. Other changes include eliminating programs paying for paging services and dial-up internet.
A survey from 2010 showed that half of schools that would receive funds from the new program had internet speeds of 3Mbps or less. The plan is to get all schools access to 100 Mbps broadband by 2015 with connectivity at speeds up to 1Gbps by the end of the decade.

Source: NYT

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