Funds For Learning Launches 12th Annual E-rate Survey

The 2022 survey is now open for applicants to submit confidential responses about critical areas of the federal E-rate funding program.

  • Funds for Learning

EDMOND, OKLA.--Funds For Learning, an E-rate compliance services firm, has opened its 12th annual survey of E-rate applicants to understand how the program can best serve schools and libraries. Stakeholder input is compiled and delivered directly to the FCC. E-rate applicants are encouraged to submit anonymous responses until May 27, 2022.

The 2022 E-rate Applicant Survey arrives as the Federal Communications Commission evaluates competitive bidding regulations and the future of off-campus internet funding via the Emergency Connectivity Fund. For E-rate stakeholders, network security continues to be a pressing issue in school systems nationwide. Survey response data will inform key policymakers and administrative members to maintain the E-rate program's value and adapt funding to meet stakeholder needs.

"The past two years have reinforced that the E-rate program is a vital lifeline for every school district," said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning. "The E-rate funding program is crucial to our organization's internet connectivity goals, and applicants depend on it to provide faster, more affordable connections to the communities they serve. Our 12th annual survey allows decision-makers in Washington D.C. to hear from E-rate applicants on connectivity issues that matter most."

Participation in last year's survey had a record-breaking 2,164 responses submitted. Key 2021 E-rate Trends Report findings include:

E-rate remains a vital program for schools and libraries to achieve connectivity. With a record number of sites served in 2021 (130,418), 97% of respondents agree that more students or library patrons are connected because of the E-rate program. Ninety-five percent agree that E-rate funding is vital to internet connectivity.

Network security is a critical issue deserving of E-rate support. Seventy-six percent of applicants say network security is a serious and urgent concern. Ninety-seven percent of applicants agree that network security should qualify for E-rate support.

Click here for the full 2021 report.

Throughout the survey's 12-year history, the E-rate program has seen major regulatory and procedural shifts. On December 16, 2021, the FCC proposed a sweeping overhaul to the E-rate funding program by nationalizing internet procurement for all K-12 schools and libraries that participate. The proposed rulemaking would establish one centralized bidding system managed by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This shift away from local autonomy for procurement would be the most radical change to the program since its inception in 1997. Access Funds For Learning's online resources about the proposed changes and sign the petition to keep current bidding rules here.

E-rate survey results will be shared in the Funds For Learning E-rate Trends Report, which is submitted into the official docket for review by FCC staff, circulated to Congress and the media and shared with the general public.

The 2022 E-rate Applicant Survey can be found here.

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