Details demanded on E-Rate subsidy.

Two powerful U.S. congressmen last week sent Federal Communications Commission chief William Kennard a pointed letter demanding more details on the FCC's plans to pay for the $2 billion E-Rate educational technology subsidy program.

House Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Tom Bliley (R-Va.) joined Rep. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.) in a letter taking aim at Kennard's announcement earlier this month that he planned to push for full funding of the E-Rate program, which Congress cut in half last year.

"We still have serious concerns with the merits of this $1 billion tax increase and particularly its impact on consumers. In light of your efforts to increase taxes by $1 billion, now is an appropriate time for the FCC to provide the committee with some critical information," the May 13 letter says.

The congressmen want a list of tax collections from consumers by state during the first E-Rate cycle. Then, FCC staff should prepare a list of funds disbursed to each state during the same period, they said. The Commerce Committee also is interested in the distribution between E-Rate funds geared toward urban and rural areas and itemized expenses, including those used to fund the Universal Service Administrative Co., which administers the program.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected