Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has proposed spending up to $200 million over three years to bolster cybersecurity protections in schools and libraries.
“With the growing number of sophisticated cyberattacks on schools and especially the rise in malicious ransomware attacks that harm our students, now is the time to take action,” Rosenworcel said in an FCC news release. “We’re proposing a significant investment of up to $200 million over three years to harden the cyber defenses and determine the most effective methods to protect our schools and libraries.”
The proposal is part of Rosenworcel's Learn Without Limits initiative to modernize the E-Rate program, which was established in 1996 to help libraries and schools pay for basic internet connections.
The chairwoman's proposal would establish a pilot program to support cybersecurity and advanced firewall-related services for eligible K-12 schools and libraries. The pilot program would be separate from the E-Rate program to ensure gains in enhanced cybersecurity don’t come at a cost of existng E-Rate programs