As a result of the federal government shutdown, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has temporarily stopped accepting comments from individuals on how to modernize and expand the E-rate program, the federal government’s program for connecting the nation’s schools and libraries to the internet.
However, individuals who want to submit comments during the government shutdown can continue to do so through 99in5.org, an Alliance for Excellent Education campaign to expand E-rate to ensure that 99 percent of schools and libraries have the broadband they need within the next five years. Already, more than 1,000 people have signed on to the “99 in 5” petition and 500 people have submitted comments to the FCC in support of this goal.
Before the shutdown, final comments were due to the FCC by October 16. Should the shutdown continue beyond that day, comments will be due on the business day following the return to normal business operations, according to the “Procedures for Filings in the Event of a Lapse in Funding” released on October 1. “Thus, for example, if a lapse in funding ended on a Monday, the Commission would return to normal operations on Tuesday morning, and, to accommodate the orderly resumption of business, filings would be due on Wednesday,” the notice reads.
Visit 99in5.org to learn more about the E-rate program and sign the petition.