Over the past 25 years, the information revolution has transformed nearly every aspect of American life. Millions of Americans use modern technologies to work, gather news and information, access training and education, conduct business, participate in the civic life of their communities, and communicate with friends. However, until Congress enacted the E-Rate as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, few schools and libraries had sufficient resources to help students and adults keep up with these rapid changes. The E-Rate is significantly changing this situation. It is helping to bridge the digital divide by bringing new technologies and the power of the Internet to urban, rural and low-income schools and communities nationwide.
The E-Rate provides $2.25 billion in discounts annually for advanced, affordable telecommunications services, Internet access and internal connections to public libraries and public and private schools. In the first seven years (1998-2004), $14.6 billion in discounts have brought the Internet and new information technologies to tens of thousands of public and private schools and libraries, and to over a million classrooms. Continue reading “E-Rate Program for Schools and Libraries”