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Eye On Boise

Federal e-rate changes could benefit Idaho school WiFi, but offer no help for IEN mess

Changes to the federal e-rate system could make money available to Idaho’s public schools to offset the costs of providing WiFi services for Idaho schools and libraries in the future, reports Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News. The federal money could help Idaho expand WiFi services to middle and elementary schools, he writes; you can read his full report here.

However, the e-rate changes in the works at the federal level offer no solution to Idaho’s continuing e-rate problem with the Idaho Education Network, Richert reports. The federal funds, which come from a surcharge on phone service, were supposed to pay for three-quarters of that broadband network that connects every Idaho high school. But the feds cut off payments in March of 2013 out of concern over whether Idaho illegally awarded the IEN contract, which is involved in litigation.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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