The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to allow schools and libraries to receive funding under the E-Rate program to provide WiFi hotspots and internet access to patrons.
The E-Rate program, part of the Universal Service Fund, has traditionally been used by schools and libraries to offset costs for on-premise internet service and technology. The proposal would allow schools and libraries to purchase WiFi hotspots to be used by patrons in their homes.
As a response to COVID, the FCC's Emergency Connectivity Fund provided similar funding for WiFi hotspots and devices. That fund, however, is set to expire in 2024.
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