Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler wants to raise phone bills up by 16 cents a month, or $2 per year. This is part of a plan to fund faster Internet access in our public schools. Current phone bills have an “E-Rate” fee, which funds Internet access for schools and libraries.
Wheeler and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass) introduced the new proposal. Both are in agreement that the current program needs revamped.
“The failure to do so will mean children in some communities will continue to be bypassed by opportunities in the 21st century,” Wheeler said.
Their plan is to bring Internet speeds of 100Mbps to schools with 1,000 students, and eventually, increasing that speed to 1Gbps. However, the fiber-optic lines needed for such Internet speeds are expensive.
Wheeler points out that the E-rate fee hasn’t been adjusted for inflation for 13 years. It currently sits at 99 cents.
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