In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Wisconsin Congressmen Mark Pocan (D-WI 2nd) and Ron Kind (D-WI 3rd) raised concerns about the proposed cap on federal E-Rate allocations that are used to fund school connectivity to high-speed broadband (see previous post) as well as the overall cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF), which supplies E-Rate funds. The two joined with several other House members in expressing concerns.
The letter states (in part):
“We write to express our concerns with the proposed rule “Universal Service Contribution Methodology” and urge you not to establish an overall cap for the Universal Service Fund (USF) or combine the cap of any USF programs, consistent with the recent unanimous vote in the House of Representatives.
“Imposing an overall cap on the USF would unnecessarily cut funding to USF programs. As you acknowledge in your Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the programs currently operate with caps or targeted budgets. Furthermore, USF funds are collected based on demand, meaning that when demand declines, a program may come in under its cap or budget. Imposing a cap would restrict access to these funds when demand increases, undermining the purpose of the USF.”
Note: The National School Boards Association (NSBA) successfully worked with other groups (including its EdLiNC partners) to get a two-week extension for fling comments and reply comments to the FCC about the E-Rate cap. Comments are now due to the FCC on July 29, 2019 and reply comments are due on August 26, 2019.