Research and Education Networking Organizations Commend FCC Decision to Expand E-rate Rules
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ — EDUCAUSE, Internet2, National LambdaRail and The Quilt join research and education networking organizations across the U.S. in commending the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to expand broadband options for schools and libraries under E-rate rules.
Under the new rules, announced today, these institutions will now be able to use E-rate funds to acquire network dark fiber as well as lit services from nonprofit research and education (R&E) networks and local governments as well as designated commercial providers.
By allowing access to modern telecommunications and information services under E-Rate rules, these important institutions and the millions of U.S. citizens they serve will not only be able to acquire more broadband capacity for their money, but the money–awarded under the FCC E-rate program–will also stretch much further, funding a greater number of services for a greater number of schools and libraries.
The changes remove constraints institutions experienced under the old rules; they provide the flexibility institutions need to make forward-looking decisions and enable life-changing networking applications for their communities. The FCC order also enables institutions to take advantage of network fiber and service providers, both commercial and nonprofit. The E-rate changes complement investments from federal network infrastructure programs such as the Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program at the Department of Commerce, among others.
“The FCC’s forward thinking in re-evaluating the E-rate rules has brought the nation a major step closer to realizing its vision – as articulated in the National Broadband Plan – of providing one Gigabit-per-second connections to some of the most important institutions in our nation, wherever they may be located,” said Carol Willis, manager of the Texas Education Telecommunications Network (TETN). “In addition, we are pleased that the FCC recognizes the critical role that the research and education networking community plays in providing the unique resources that anchor institutions need today as well as in building a scalable environment for the future.”
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. EDUCAUSE programs and services are focused on analysis, advocacy, community building, professional development, and knowledge creation because IT plays a transformative role in higher education. EDUCAUSE supports those who lead, manage, and use information technology through a comprehensive range of resources and activities. For more information, visit www.educause.edu.
Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today–and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. Led by its members, Internet2 blends its human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. Activating the same partnerships that produced today’s Internet, our community is forging the Internet of the future. For more information, see http://www.internet2.edu.
ABOUT NATIONAL LAMBDARAIL (NLR)
Owned and operated by the U.S. research and education community, National LambdaRail (NLR) is one of the world’s most advanced networks: 12,000 miles of high-performance optical fiber coast to coast, capable of speeds up to 100 Gigabits per second. Over 280 universities and federal laboratories use NLR as their network for leading-edge research. With no restrictions on usage or bandwidth, very high availability, a choice of next-generation network services and applications, and customized support for individual researchers and projects, NLR creates opportunities for collaboration, innovation and commercialization among the global research community and between private and public partners. For more information, see www.nlr.net.
ABOUT THE QUILT
The Quilt is a nonprofit collaboration of our country’s most advanced regional and state networks in support of research and education. The Quilt is a dynamic forum where leaders from these organizations and throughout the advanced research and education networking community build on the intellectual capital and best practices of network providers worldwide. Based on the participant’s combined experiences in operations and development of leading edge technologies, The Quilt aims to influence the national agenda on information technology infrastructure with particular emphasis on networking. Through its collaborations, The Quilt promotes the delivery of networking services at a lower cost, higher performance, greater reliability and security. The Quilt derives its funding and organizational support from the contributions of its participants. For more information, see http://www.thequilt.net.