Browse all articles

Schools and Libraries Are Getting Wired Thanks to New Funding

In today's 24/7 digital age, we sometimes take it for granted that schools, libraries and homes have all the Internet access they need. But two-thirds of schools don't have the broadband access necessary to meet current digital learning needs. That is why Common Sense spent a lot of time and energy talking to our nation's leaders in Washington, DC over the last year about dedicating funds to wiring our classrooms.  Fortunately, we were successful.
The FCC's E-rate program brings vital Internet connectivity to schools and libraries across the country, helping to ensure that kids in low-income communities can equally benefit from technology. The FCC announced last year that it would be modernizing the program to focus on broadband and Wi-Fi and increasing available funding from $1.5 billion to $3.9 billion annually -- a huge win for kids and education!
The good news is that schools and libraries have stepped up to take advantage of this. The FCC recently announced that all $3.9 billion has been requested for this year and it anticipates fully funding all of those school and library requests.  Being able to fully fund Wi-Fi is particularly exciting because, for the last few years, no funds at all have been available for Wi-Fi.
Technology plays a critical role in daily life, and having adequate access to digital tools helps students -- and America -- prepare for tomorrow's economy.  
Savvy schools and libraries already are starting to plan for next year and Common Sense is helping. Join Kids Action today to help with this important effort.

Ariel Fox Johnson
Ariel Fox Johnson is Senior Counsel for Global Policy at Common Sense Media, where she advocates for smart practices, policies, and rules to help all kids thrive in today’s wired world. Her work focuses on enhancing family privacy rights, strengthening students' educational privacy, and promoting robust consumer protections in the online world. She frequently advises policymakers, industry, and tech experts, and has helped develop laws on student privacy, consumer privacy, and the Internet of Things. Ariel is a graduate of Harvard College and Law School. Prior to joining Common Sense, Ariel worked on privacy, media, intellectual property, and technology matters at corporate law firms, and provided pro bono assistance to nonprofits and asylum seekers.