Last Wednesday, the White House officially decided that a $4-6 billion proposal to expand Internet access to 99 percent of schools was a “no-brainer,” according to the Washington Post. President Barack Obama has been campaigning for the high-speed Internet initiative in schools all summer long.
“With a relatively modest investment, we could connect 99 percent of schools all across the country to the Internet, and that would expand educational opportunities for students in a really important way,” said White House Spokesman Josh Earnest.
However, the idea ultimately requires approval by the Federal Communications Commission. The White House Administration is hoping that the FCC will help move things along, since, you know, Congress is unlikely to get the ball rolling on its own, being “stagnant and dysfunctional” and all.
“We have seen a little dysfunction in Congress,” said Mr. Earnest. “You would think that connecting schools to the information superhighway would be a pretty non-controversial topic.”
The FCC also has the power to raise cell and other telecom fees by an average of about $5 or less per customer per year, by Earnest’s estimates. Thus, the school-wide connectivity would be funded by everyone who owns a cell phone as part of the FCC’s “E-Rate” program.
Some Republicans and Republican-leaning FCC officials have warned that they would oppose any new policy that raises fees on consumers, saying there is too much inefficiency in the program today, according to the Washington Post.