FCC’s Competitive Bidding Proposal Won’t Help Schools/Libraries, SHLB Says April 28, 2022
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. (April 28, 2022) - Today the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition encouraged the Federal Communications Commission not to move forward with its proposed changes to the competitive bidding process for the E-rate program. As SHLB explained in comments filed yesterday, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would unreasonably burden applicants, conflict with existing local and state laws, and ultimately hinder competition.
John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, made the following statement:
“While the SHLB Coalition generally supports streamlining the E-rate program, we’re hearing from both applicants and service providers that the Commission’s most recent proposal to nationalize the competitive bidding process would usurp local decision-making, and would discourage many schools and libraries from participating in E-rate altogether. The proposal wouldn’t prevent fraud – it is unnecessary, unwieldy, and unwise. Considering that the need for such drastic action is unproven, we urge the FCC to first pursue a fraud risk assessment plan to pinpoint where, if any, waste exists in the program. E-rate is too important for keeping students and library patrons connected to risk needless changes that would put extra burden on schools and libraries.”
The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit www.shlb.org.