This is a concatenation of my and Miriam Nisbet’s notes:
___E-Rate / Universal Service
1. Need facts about library connectivity (see John Bertot research)
:Why don’t more libraries apply for E-Rate?
:Do we still need it?
2. How do we measure importance?
:Seems that libraries cannot have too many computers - how are they being used?
:Why are they (they = computers? or users?) in libraries? and not elsewhere?
:Libraries as refuge in emergencies/disasters - how does E-Rate tie into that role?
3. How should E-Rate be paid for?
4. How does E-Rate relate to other tools we could provide? (Slingbox, etc)
:Is there a conflict with efforts to filter services?
5. What support do libraries need to stay curent with technology?
6. Fairness, Affordability, & Access, is this our message?
:What to add to it?
Are libraries getting their fair share of E-Rate pot?
Is Internet connectivity a result of E-Rate? Do we know?
What percentage of libraries have broadband access? Isn’t that the most important Question?
What is FCC’s role vis a vis Libraries?
If E-Rate form changed, what would libraries do?
-Where would we get the money?
-Is there a better way to pay for it?
-Other sources of funding?
Will role of libraries change if more homes get Broadband?
Libraries can be anchor for communities and magnets for improving broadband to local communities
Yet, libraries are small customers for telcos, they have no incentive to help us.
We need more data.
Increase library and services visibility
Model for Universal Service Fund is the early Post Office.
Universal Service fund is NOT welfare - it’s a way to ensure involved citizenry USF is embatled and will remain so - we must fight for it
- fight is against groups that see America as a nation of markets ratrher than a democracy
Much of the Waste,Fraud,Abuse is a result of application process complexity
–this needs fixin’
**Need to correct the record/FUD: The Telcos are not the entities that pay into the Universal Sevice Fund (USF) - it’s the consumers
**Need to differentiate USF which does *not* provide for Internet connectivity and E-Rate, which does.
A priority for changing is should be having *all* telecom providers/consumers pay into USF
Other main problem is USF based on old technology - wired services - notion is that all Americans should be connected - which means advanced technologies and services
Needs go beyond wiring/connections to staffing, training for users, and infrastructure
Need a clear message:
-who we are
-what we need
Why does this matter?
Why is/Is this the best way to pay for this?
If E-Rate went away how would that affect libraries?
Need a literature review on data available for E-Rate, universal service, etc.
Need to come up with terms that are more focused than current terminology.
Do we have a definitiuon of what libraries are to their communities? (are there multiple?)
Is there a Market Failure? How to determine? What to do about?