Barack Obama's vision of a more technologically advanced United States will get a boost from the FCC this week, which will announce plans to double funding for broadband in schools and libraries from $1 billion to $2 billion per year. As The New York Times and Washington Post report, this budgetary adjustment will initially exploit unused money from previous years of the government's E-Rate program, and would later reallocate funds from outdated tech like dial-up internet. The president made a big point in his State of the Union speech that changes like these won't require the raising of any new funds or taxes and that's very much the intention with this plan.
Even at $2 billion, however, the FCC's annual spending may prove inadequate — given the number of needy schools in the US — to meet the government's ambitious goal of having a 100Mbps connection in all schools by 2015. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is expected to make the full announcement on Wednesday, while on Tuesday, as per the Post, $500 million of broadband funding from private companies will be announced. Those include Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon, and their funds would also go toward improving internet connectivity in schools.