Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who along with Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) was a founder of the FCC's E-rate schools and libraries telecom subsidy program, joined Rockefeller in giving a thumbs up to the FCC's revamp, which was approved on a straight party line vote Friday (July 11).
He had joined with Rockefeller to write FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler with concerns that the reforms would fund WiFi to the detriment of standard connectivity.
Those were addressed in modifications to the items, and Markey was able to get on board.
“Today’s decision by the FCC is an important step forward in making the already successful E-Rate program more efficient and effective in providing advanced Internet access for all students, teachers, library users, and librarians in Massachusetts and around the country," he said in a statement. "The FCC has addressed some of my concerns and correctly recognized that, while the need to promote Wi-Fi in all schools and libraries is more important than ever, it should not come at the expense of bringing broadband to the brick and mortar building itself. To truly ensure our students and the public can best compete in our interconnected 21st century economy, the FCC must still take action to increase the program’s permanent funding cap."
The FCC plans to address that in a future item.