Bell Atlantic Supports Schools and Libraries Fund

Bell Atlantic Supports Schools and Libraries Fund

June 9, 1998

Media contact:

Susan Butta,

WASHINGTON -- In recent days, members of Congress and the
FCC have been discussing the future of the Schools and Libraries
program as signed into law in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
The following statement is issued by Bell Atlantic with the hope that
continued progress can be made while the FCC considers revisions to
the current plan. This statement may be attributed to Tom Tauke,
senior vice president-government relations, Bell Atlantic Corporation:

The program to connect schools and libraries to the internet
should not be abandoned at the moment when it can begin to
deliver the promise of the Information Age to America's students.

Bell Atlantic strongly urges the FCC and Members of Congress to
continue to work to make this program a success. Schools,
libraries, and the telecommunications industry have already
invested significant resources to implement this program, and
these efforts should not be wasted.

Bell Atlantic urges policymakers to consider the following
proposals to address the program's funding issues:

  1. The Federal Communications Commission should adopt
    proposals to extend the current fiscal year for this program
    to June 30, 1999, so that the funding cycle for the schools
    and libraries program will match the academic year.

  2. To address the legal and political challenges to the funding
    source for the program, Congress should dedicate a
    portion of the revenues raised by the 3 percent federal
    excise tax on telecommunications to fund the schools and
    libraries initiative.