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Gov. Bob Wise Comments on FCC Plan to Modernize E-Rate and Expand High-Speed Internet Access in Nation’s Schools and Libraries

“No modern business expects to function without access to high-speed internet. So why should we expect it of our schools?,” said Gov. Wise.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler released his plan for modernizing the federal government’s E-rate program that connects the nation’s schools and libraries to the internet. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, released the following statement:

“No modern business expects to function without access to high-speed internet. So why should we expect it of our schools?

“I applaud Chairman Wheeler and the FCC for moving forward aggressively to provide at least 99 percent of America’s students with access to high-speed broadband in their schools and libraries within the next five years. The E-rate program has been remarkably effective, but like an old cellphone, it is in need of an upgrade. In today’s world, reliable Wi-Fi is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Teachers and students shouldn’t have to worry about crashing their systems if too many students hit ‘enter’ at the same time. America’s students need and deserve a world-class education, and in the twenty-first century, that means having reliable access to the internet.

“By focusing E-rate on high-speed broadband and expanding funding for Wi-Fi, Chairman Wheeler’s proposal for the modernization of E-rate lays the foundation for the permanent expansion of E-rate that the nation’s schools and libraries so desperately need. I appreciate Chairman Wheeler’s sense of urgency on this matter. I urge the FCC to modernize E-rate, and to quickly take the next step of expanding the program to bring today’s schools and libraries into the digital age.”


The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.

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