A team of leading telecommunications lawyers in Washington, DC, is working with the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) to develop recommendations for changing the federal E-Rate program so that more libraries receive more discounts on telephone and internet costs. Reed Hundt, who developed E-Rate as chair of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, is now one of the attorneys advising ULC on how to adjust the program to fit a shifting digital landscape... Read more >>

ULC, ALA and Other Groups Sign Joint Letter to Chairman Wheeler
Read the joint letter here>>
July 16, 2014
ULC and several organizations joined together to help guide the FCC in its E-Rate moderization effort formula. Those joining ULC, were the American Library Associaton, The Association for Rural & Small Libraries,  the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and the Public Library Association.

ULC Urges FCC to Ensure Universal Broadband for Public Libraries
ULC e-Rate Letter to FCC >>
Document A: Library Systems Consist of Urban, Suburban and Rural Libraries >>
June 9, 2014
As the process to modernize the U.S. E-Rate program continues, ULC has submitted a letter to the FCC underscoring two critical points. The first, “Public Libraries = Education” affirms the essential role of the library as a 21st century educational institution and points out that libraries have been the fundamental “go-to” institution in recent years for job seekers of all ages and occupations. The second point, “Connectivity for All Public Libraries – No Matter the Location,” emphasizes that all public libraries require immediate and comprehensive support in acquiring broadband connectivity.

ULC Members Urge E-Rate Fixes to Ensure Digital Access
Press Release >>
ULC Member Letter to FCC
May 21, 2014
Members of the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) have called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to level the E-Rate playing field to enhance public libraries’ access to funds that will help provide a digital future for all Americans.

FCC E-Rate Modernization Workshop
Podcast (04:34:10) >>
May 11, 2014

If you were unable to attend or live stream this event in DC, we encourage our public library colleagues to listen in and continue the E-Rate conversation.

ULC Recommendation/Filing
ULC Filing # 4 >>

April 21, 2014
ULC submitted its reply to the FCC on E-Rate. A two page summary at the beginning of this document provides a snapshot of ULC's comments.

IMLS Hearing on Modernizing E-Rate
FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler >>

Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt >>

April 17, 2014

IMLS hosted a public hearing, “Libraries and Broadband: Urgency and Impact,” to examine the need for high-speed broadband in America’s libraries. Current Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler and Reed Hundt, former FCC Chairman, offered persuasive analyses of what needs to be done to modernize the nation’s E-Rate program so that all citizens have equitable access to technology as a means of education and productive lives. The Benton Foundation distilled their presentations into these cogent summaries that can be used as talking points for local and national advocacy efforts.

ULC Recommendation/Filing
ULC Filing #3 >>

April 7, 2014
ULC submitted a filing to the Federal Communications Commission with refined recommendations for strengthening the U.S. E-Rate program so that public libraries remain “the primary free public Internet access point in civil society.”

ULC E-Rate Fact Sheet
Modernizing the E-Rate Program >>
February 2014

ULC E-Rate White Paper
Modernizing the E-Rate Program to Support the Public Library Role in Lifelong Learning >>
February 2014

Connected_CommNew America Foundation Forum Podcast
Co-sponsored by Urban Libraries Council
Connected Communities in the Age of Digital Learning:
A Vision for a 21st century E-Rate Program >>

Podcast published February 27, 2014 (run time 01:38:17)

Politico Pro, an online news magazine
Libraries Angle for Bigger Role in E-Rate >>
Article by Caitlin Emma
12/02/13 5:05 AM EST