Learn Without Limits

See You at ALA Annual!

During ALA's Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Diego, the Public Policy & Advocacy Office is sharing a range of programs to help you get your library community online with federal funding and collaboration. Check out our full suite of events!


FCC Learn Without Limits Initiative

In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Schools and Libraries Program (also known as the E-rate program) as part of its Universal Service Fund. This federal initiative provides discounts to public libraries and to public and private K-12 schools on telecommunications services, internet access, and some closely related costs, such as inside wiring. The COVID-19 pandemic increased awareness that more was needed to address broadband gaps affecting educational opportunity, leading first to the Emergency Connectivity Program, then to the introduction of Learn Without Limits by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel at ALA’s Annual Conference 2023. This new federal initiative is a permanent solution through E-rate to support learners wherever they are.

Learn Without Limits is a three-prong solution to closing the homework gap:

  • Wi-Fi on school buses
  • Wi-Fi hotspot lending
  • Cybersecurity pilot program

Wi-Fi Hotspot Lending

Wi-fi hotspot graphic
  • The FCC has proposed allowing schools and libraries to apply for E-rate funding for Wi-Fi hotspots and wireless internet access services that can be used off-premises.
  • Hotspot lending supports opportunity and learning anywhere and anytime. Hotspots provide off-premises connectivity to individuals who lack home internet or who may not have sufficient access for the needs of the household.

ALA Advocacy and Resources

  • Template: Tell the FCC how hotspot lending supports your community
  • Resource: Wi-Fi Hotspot Lending Two-Pager

Cybersecurity Pilot Program

Cybersecurity graphic

The FCC proposed a three-year pilot program within the Universal Service Fund (USF) to provide up to $200 million available to support cybersecurity and advanced firewall services for eligible schools and libraries. Read the Report and Order here. ALA welcomes this pilot program and acknowledges the urgent need for advanced cybersecurity tools for libraries.

ALA Advocacy and Resources