Results from a national survey of e-rate applicants indicate a continued reliance on e-rate funding, particularly for broadband connectivity. Funds for Learning, an e-rate compliance firm, released survey results in 2008-09; recent results released were a follow-up to the earlier report. This year’s results showed that 42 percent of respondents say Internet access is the most important category of service in the e-rate program. About 90 percent said that e-rate funding is critical to their success; just 30 percent believe the program is adequately funded. Gathered over two months, responses and the aggregate results will be forwarded to the FCC in hopes of increased funding and proactive e-rate policies. “The respondents emphasized the importance of the continued success of the e-rate program,” says Brian Stephens, senior technology and regulatory analyst at Funds For Learning. “Applicants see the e-rate program as a critical mechanism in delivering affordable telecommunications and Internet services during times of budgetary shortfalls.” Have a closer look.

Key findings:

__ Approximately 90 percent of respondents indicate that E-rate funding is critical to their success

__ Approximately 40 percent of respondents believe that their current Internet access is adequate

__ Approximately 42 percent of respondents indicate that Internet access is the most important category of service in the E-rate program

__ Approximately 70 percent of respondents believe that the E-rate program is not adequately funded