The North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation, Inc. (NACEPF) and Mobile Beacon applaud the recent ex parte letter from the U.S. Department of Education, which was filed in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s rulemaking docket, Transforming the 2.5 GHz Band. We agree with the Department of Education’s assessment that “EBS is a valuable tool available to educational institutions to close the homework gap,” and their recommendation to maintain educational eligibility to hold an EBS license, modernize the current educational requirements, rationalize existing licensed areas to county boundaries, and issue new EBS licenses using priority windows for tribes and educational entities.
“We appreciate that another federal agency has carefully reviewed both the FCC’s proposals regarding EBS spectrum and the record in this docket to reach its conclusion that the FCC should preserve the educational nature of this spectrum band, but modernize the rules to promote more lifelong learning opportunities,” said Katherine Messier, Executive Director, Mobile Beacon. “We agree with the U.S. Department of Education that EBS is a vital resource to provide broadband access to rural communities and tribal lands where too many Americans remain trapped in the digital divide. The FCC should not eliminate a proven tool for combating the digital divide at a time when broadband for education has never been more important.”