The U.S. should spend $1.5 billion more a year to make sure every child has access to high-speed Internet connections at school, the head of the Federal Communications Commission said Monday in a proposal endorsed by the Obama administration that would increase slightly the fees consumers pay each month on their phone bills.
If approved by the commission as expected next month, the FCC would be allowed to spend as much as $3.9 billion a year to wire schools and libraries in low-income or rural areas with broadband connections that educators say are crucial to modern classrooms.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told reporters that he estimates the average consumer or business would pay roughly $1.90 extra a year per phone line to make that happen. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday issued a statement endorsing the plan.
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