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Broadband pilots could serve as models for other states

Broadband pilots could serve as models for other states

Arkansas, Virginia partner with EducationSuperHighway to design a roadmap for bringing broadband to every student

broadband

EducationSuperHighway’s analysis revealed a key opportunity to deliver broadband to every Arkansas school through fiber-optic connections.

Arkansas and Virginia have teamed up with the San Francisco-based nonprofit EducationSuperHighway to design a cost-effective plan for meeting President Obama’s goal of ensuring broadband access for every student.

EducationSuperHighway, whose mission is to “close the K-12 digital divide and open the door to new learning and teaching opportunities” in the nation’s schools, is surveying the available bandwidth in Arkansas and Virginia classrooms.

The group then will assess what broadband technologies are available in each state. Working with state and local education leaders and with service providers, EducationSuperHighway will form a plan for delivering high-speed internet to each state’s schools in the most efficient way possible.

If these pilot projects are successful, they could become models for other states to follow, said Evan Marwell, CEO of EducationSuperHighway.

President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, announced last year, calls for 99 percent of American students to have broadband access in their classrooms by 2018. The initiative defines broadband as at least 100 kilobits per second of bandwidth for every student.

(Next page: How EducationSuperHighway is assessing these states’ needs—and what the organization has learned from its work in Arkansas)

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