E-Rate Report Card: History of E-Rate and the National Goals of 2.0


The E-Rate program was founded and authorized as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Developed based on the principle that all Americans should have access to advanced telecommunication services, the E-Rate component focused on telecom services and equipment and Internet access for eligible K-12 schools and libraries around the country.

This year marks the first time in its 17-year history that E-Rate policies will be reviewed and modernized. Coupled with new Federal Communication Commission (FCC) proposals and ConnectED technology legislation proposed by President Obama to expand federal funding, E-Rate 2.0 has become a hot topic.

In July, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the E-Rate 2.0 reform. Looking at the structure and operation of the program, the FCC has set the following goals:

  • Ensuring schools and libraries have affordable access to 21st century broadband that supports learning,
  • Maximizing the cost-effectiveness of E-Rate funds
  • Streamlining the administration of the E-Rate program

At Windstream, we understand the need and impact that state-of-the-art technology makes in an educational setting. Windstream fully supports E-Rate 2.0, the goals of the FCC and the President’s challenge to make funding available for every classroom and library. 

As an approved E-Rate provider and expert in education solutions, Windstream has partnered with thousands of schools and libraries across the country to install advanced telecom, data, and network solutions. We have seen firsthand the positive effects that next-gen technologies can have; from connecting schools and students to learning experiences across the globe, to enabling the latest in advanced learning tools and applications, to keeping our children safer and parents informed in cases of emergency.

During the next few months, we will be providing E-Rate 2.0 updates on the modernization of the program through our E-Rate Report Card series. For learn more about Windstream’s E-Rate program participation, including Interconnected VoIP and BYOD, click here or contact a Windstream E-Rate Advisor.