FCC Proposes Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Pilot Program

December 27, 2023  |  by VectorUSA

In a groundbreaking move, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is stepping up its game to safeguard the digital fortresses of K-12 schools and libraries. The proposed Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Pilot Program is a pivotal initiative under Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel’s Learn Without Limits campaign, aiming to fortify connectivity and protect against the rising tide of cyber threats.

The goal is to defend against cyberattacks and ransomware that can harm students and disrupt their learning. The FCC wants to understand how to strike the right balance in addressing this problem and provide useful data to government partners on an effective and coordinated approach.

Why it Matters:

  • Addressing the Growing Threats: The FCC acknowledges the increasing frequency of cyber threats and ransomware attacks targeting educational institutions. The pilot program aims to gather crucial data on advanced firewall services to bolster the defenses of schools and libraries against these sophisticated attacks.
  • Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Vision: Chairwoman Rosenworcel's Learn Without Limits initiative has a clear mission — ensuring universal access to high-speed Internet services. This pilot program is a crucial component, aligning with her commitment to protect students from cyber threats that hinder their learning experiences.
Timeline and Expectations:

November 13, 2023: FCC proposes the creation of the Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Pilot Program.

December 29, 2023: The NPRM was posted in the Federal Register


Over the Next Three Years:

  • Investment: The FCC plans to allocate up to $200 million over three years for the pilot program, emphasizing a commitment to enhancing cybersecurity in the educational sector.

  • Implementation: The pilot program will be established within the Universal Service Fund (USF), separate from the E-Rate program, to avoid compromising the success of E-Rate in connecting schools and libraries. Funds will be strategically allocated to eligible K-12 schools and libraries. These entities will receive financial support to cover the costs associated with implementing advanced cybersecurity and firewall services. This targeted allocation ensures that limited USF funds are utilized efficiently to maximize the impact on the security of broadband networks and data.

Building on Success:

Learn Without Limits Initiative: To bridge the Homework Gap, Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s initiative continues to evolve. Recent expansions include supporting Wi-Fi on school buses, ensuring E-Rate accessibility for libraries in Tribal communities, and proposing funding for off-premises use of Wi-Fi hotspots and wireless internet access services.


Next Steps and Application Process:

To harness the benefits of the FCC's cybersecurity budget, we encourage interested parties to stay abreast of program updates. As your dedicated partner, will actively monitor FCC channels for detailed information on the application process. We understand the importance of clarity in navigating through the procedures. Stay tuned for comprehensive guidelines on how eligible organizations, with VectorUSA's support, can seamlessly apply for funding to fortify their cybersecurity infrastructure.


The Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Pilot Program is a strategic move by the FCC to protect educational institutions against cyber threats. Chairwoman Rosenworcel's commitment to Learn Without Limits and the proposed $200 million investment underscore the importance of securing our digital education landscape. As the program unfolds, it promises to provide actionable data, fortify defenses, and ensure that schools and libraries remain resilient in the face of evolving cybersecurity challenges.


Should you have any inquiries or require additional support, feel free to reach out to our dedicated team at VectorUSA. We are here to ensure that you have the resources and knowledge needed to make the most of the Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Pilot Program.



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