SECA Praised the FCC for Granting their Request
Today the State E-rate Coordinators’ Alliance (SECA) praised the FCC’s action to open a second E-rate FY 2020 filing window that will provide additional funding to schools whose on-campus Internet needs and costs have increased due to the COVID-19 emergency. The Commission’s Order (DA-20-1091A1.pdf) grants the request that SECA submitted on August 3, 2020 (SECA August 3 Letter) and relies on the evidence provided in support of its request (SECA August 27 Letter).
Debra Kriete, SECA Chairperson, made the following statement:
“In the last six months, school officials have seen significant increases in their Internet bandwidth needs and associated costs as they worked to ensure students continued to receive their education during these extraordinary times. We applaud the FCC for recognizing this need and quickly establishing a rare, second application filing window. Under Chairman Pai’s leadership, schools have benefited from previous FCC COVID-19 relief related to deadline extensions and waiver of stringent gift rules. We are grateful the Commission acted so quickly to enact this additional relief.”
SECA submitted its request in response to the numerous inquiries that state E-rate coordinators received from school officials explaining their increased and unanticipated bandwidth needs and resulting costs. These schools had no way of anticipating their need for more Internet due to the COVID-19 pandemic when they requested their E-rate funding last spring. The subsequent support lent by other stakeholder groups on this subject illustrated to the FCC that there was widespread support for this request throughout the E-rate community.
SECA members provide E-rate coordination services in 46 states and 1 U.S. Territory. State Coordinators have daily interactions with and provide training to E-rate applicants to assist them with all aspects of the program. State coordinators serve as intermediaries between the applicant and service provider communities, the E-rate Administrator, and the Federal Communications Commission. SECA regularly communicates with the E-rate program administrator, the Federal Communications Commission) and other federal and state policy makers regarding the operation and administration of the E-rate program to convey recommendations and feedback to fulfill the goals of the program. The organization was established in 1997 and is operated by a dedicated team of volunteers. For more information, please visit www.secaerate.net.
SETDA and CoSN commend the FCC’s Emergency E-rate Filing Window
SETDA and CoSN commend the Wireline Bureau for opening an emergency E-rate filing window to help schools address their higher than expected on campus bandwidth demands. The Bureau’s decision will help schools support their students during a very challenging period and we appreciate the agency’s swift recognition of this on campus digital learning need.
Separately, CoSN and SETDA hope the FCC and Congress will also act this month to ensure that every student has a broadband connection at home. We strongly encourage Congress to approve the Emergency Educational Connections Act.
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit membership association launched by state education agency leaders in 2001 to serve, support and represent their emerging interests and needs with respect to the use of technology for teaching, learning, and school operations. www.setda.org
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. www.cosn.org