Schumer pushes administration’s Internet plan

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) applauded the Obama administration’s recent commitments to update and expand a federal program aimed at connecting students to the Internet.

Earlier this year, President Obama and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler outlined their plans to expand the E-Rate program. 

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Obama announced $750 million in charitable contributions from major tech and telecom companies, and Wheeler said the agency would be restructuring the program’s funding to double resources dedicated to connecting schools and libraries to the Internet.

“As the federal government looks to revamp E-Rate, we’re looking to assure there’s greater flexibility in addition to greater funds,” Schumer said Tuesday, speaking on Safer Internet Day.

“It’s critical now more than ever that our schools keep up with advancing technology,” he said.

Schumer also applauded the administration’s broader efforts to connect Americans to the Internet, including the FCC’s Connect America Fund, which aims to bring Internet connectivity to rural areas that lack an adequate broadband infrastructure.

“To expand broadband access, especially to the more remote parts of the country, federal investment is required,” he said.

Connecting Americans to the Internet “is the closest thing we have to a silver bullet, when it comes to improving healthcare, education and growing the economy,” Schumer said.

“While I probably never Snapchat with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), I do understand the potential of the Internet," he joked. 

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