This is a really smart acquisition. WordPress continues to dominate the CMS market. With the upcoming REST API, it’s only going to get better. I’m watching niche CMS industry after niche CMS industry crumble under the continual migration to WordPress.
The latest victims are the small CMS vendors who have been selling proprietary CMS solutions to public school districts for the past 15 years, charging far too much money (your U.S. taxpayer dollars!) for barely functional CMS’s. The FCC voted recently to prohibit spending federal money on these solutions, a practice that basically created the market, so now every school district in the U.S. (14,000+) are looking around for cheaper and better solutions. A large percentage of them are migrating to WordPress.
E-Rate is a major funding source for school Internet connections and is ran by the FCC. The sidebar on that article says:
“Phases out support for some non-broadband services, such as voice services; and eliminates support for others, such as email, Web-hosting, paging, and components of telephone service such as text-messaging and directory assistance.”
I’m guessing it relates to that “web-hosting” bit.
Yes, that is exactly right. Public school districts can no longer use E-Rate (federal money) funds to pay for web site hosting or web site management systems. The FCC decided to re-allocate $5 billion in E-Rate funds for a 5-year wifi roll-out plan for all public school districts.
You can read more about the FCC’s E-Rate Modernization Order: https://www.fcc.gov/page/summary-second-e-rate-modernization-order
Unlikely this order was intended to cause school districts to stop paying for proprietary content management systems and adopt free-as-in-freedom ones. But the existence of the latter probably helped make the order feasible.
Where else are taxpayers (or individuals, institutions, companies) paying for proprietary production for which reasonable or (in this case probably much better) commons-based substitutes exist, such that the funding can simply be redirected away from proprietary production and toward something else entirely, most likely something else the funding’s constituency really wants (wi-fi in schools in this case)?