Published: October 2018
“Five years ago, an unprecedented coalition united behind a simple, but important, goal: to improve broadband in America’s K-12 classrooms. They took on this mission because in every classroom without adequate broadband, students were being shortchanged. They didn’t have access to the educational applications and content available in connected classrooms, and they were at a significant disadvantage in trying to compete in today’s digital world.
So the goal was set: connect 99% of schools to next-generation broadband. It was an audacious goal—not a single state had the infrastructure and bandwidth needed to meet this goal in 2013.
Piece by piece, progress was achieved. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) modernized the E-rate program. Forty-nine governors pledged to make improvements in every corner of their states. Thousands of school district leaders worked to find the solutions for their students, and service providers dramatically improved the affordability of broadband.
The result is incredible progress. Today, 98% of our public schools have next-generation fiber infrastructure, and 96% have enough Internet connectivity to make digital learning available in their classrooms.
As we kick off the 2018 school year, we can celebrate that 40.7 million more students have high-speed broadband in their classrooms. But our job is not done. 2.3 million students and 1,356 schools still need the basic infrastructure for 21st-century learning. We also need to embrace the FCC’s 2018 goal of 1 Megabit per second (1 Mbps) per student of Internet access, so technology can be fully integrated into teaching and learning throughout our schools.”