How does the e-rate help close the digital divide?
We just recently have new evidence [from the Commerce Department] that the digital divide is growing in this country–it’s not lessening. Kids from rich families and well-educated families are ten times more likely to have access to computers and to networking resources at home than kids who are from poor homes with parents who have less education. Education Department’s Linda Roberts on closing the digital divide Therefore, it becomes more compelling that we make sure that all schools and public libraries have access to these tools and have them available to students. That is whey the e-rate is so important. The e-rate specifically gets at the digital divide because the highest rates of discounts go to the poorest and most rural schools in the country. The FCC was mandated by Congress under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to increase school and library access to the Net. So why is its plan facing so much criticism? The e-rate has been caught in the middle of a political battle over