Over 800 public interest, education and commercial signatories emphasize that keeping EBS educational is vital to close the homework gap
Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2019) – Today, 830 signatories representing educational institutions, rural operators, public libraries, nonprofit organizations, anchor institutions, individuals and public interest groups from 48 states and the District of Columbia united in petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure Educational Broadband Service (EBS) continues to serve its intended educational and public interest purposes. The signatories also ask the FCC to make new EBS licenses available for educational entities and Tribal Nations to connect their communities.
EBS is currently the only licensed spectrum available for educational institutions to serve their communities. Twenty- three years ago, the FCC stopped issuing new EBS licenses, leaving 50 percent of the geography of the United States, primarily rural areas, without access to this portion of the 2.5 GHz band. The FCC is expected to reach a decision this summer about how to make this spectrum available. It has sought comment on whether to give educational and Tribal entities the first opportunity to obtain this spectrum, or whether to proceed immediately to a commercial auction and eliminate the requirement that licenses be held by an educational or nonprofit entity.