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Daily Archives: February 8, 2014

FCC expanding access to high-capacity Internet in schools and libraries

“The FCC’s E-rate program is the government’s program for connecting the nation’s schools and libraries to broadband.  It is the government’s largest educational technology program.  When E-rate was established in 1996, only 14 percent of the nation’s K-12 classrooms had access to the Internet. Today, virtually all schools and libraries have Internet access. But learning is changing.  Innovative digital learning technologies and the growing importance of the Internet in connecting students, teachers, and consumers to jobs, life-long learning, and information, are creating increasing demand for bandwidth in schools and libraries.  In an FCC survey of E-rate recipients, nearly half of respondents reported lower speed Internet connectivity than the average American home – despite having, on average, 200 times as many users. The FCC began updating E-rate in 2010, and is now initiating a full review to modernize the program. This revitalization is centered around three proposed goals:

  • Increased connectivity to high-capacity broadband
  • Efficient purchasing through bulk buying, consortia, and competitive bidding improvements
  • Cutting red tape to speed, streamline, and increase transparency in application reviews

Modernizing E-rate is critical for the future of our children and our citizens. We encourage all to comment on the reform proposals so that we can ensure that schools and libraries have affordable access to the high-speed broadband they need – in the most effective, efficient way possible.”

WSJ – Where Workforce Dropouts Are Highest

Dante Chinni: “This week, the issue of labor-force participation became a hot topic in Washington. On Tuesday, a report from the Congressional Budget Office forecast that the Affordable Care Act would drive a reduction in labor-force participation. And Friday’s release of the latest unemployment figures was accompanied by analyses emphasizing improvements in the unemployment picture have been strongly… Continue Reading

LC – Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond

“Like our ancestors, we look up at the heavens and wonder. What is the structure of the universe? How significant are we? Are we alone? In Carl Sagan’s words, “we are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” To commemorate the acquisition of The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive,… Continue Reading

Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions

CRS – Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions. Dianne E. Rennack, Specialist in Foreign Policy Legislation. February 4, 2014. “The regime of economic sanctions against Iran is arguably the most complex the United States and the international community have ever imposed on a rogue state. Iran’s economy was once integrated into world trade, markets, and banking.… Continue Reading

LC – Orphan Works and Mass Digitization

“The U.S. Copyright Office will host public roundtable discussion sand seeks further comments on potential legislative solutions for orphan works and mass digitization under U.S.copyright law. The meetings and comments will provide an opportunity for interested parties to address new legal developments as well as issues raised by comments provided in response to the Office’s previous Notice… Continue Reading