FCC Approves Fee Bump to Extend E-Rate ProgramProgram funding was capped in 1997 at $2.25 billion and received a slight increase to $2.4 billion in 2010, but the commission says demand for funding far exceeds those numbers. In 2013, the agency reportedly received $4.9 billion in requests. While the increase still falls short of last year’s demand, education officials have praised the commission’s decision. Former Gov. Bob Wise, now president of the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Excellent Education, said the funding increase will have a positive impact in West Virginia and other rural areas across the country that still lack high-speed Internet, which he says is a vital component of modern education.