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U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday voted along party lines to begin to transition E-Rate, the largest U.S. educational technology subsidy program, to focus on high-speed Internet and increasingly on Wi-Fi in the next few years. In a 3-2 vote, the FCC approved Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to phase out E-Rate spending on older technologies such as pagers, shift focus to high-speed Internet and commit $2 billion in the next two years to Wi-Fi, without raising the program’s budget. The plan had faced criticisms from Republicans and Democrats alike.



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