News

3 barriers, 3 fixes for school broadband

By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura
November 25th, 2015

A new report urges state leaders to help all school districts access high-speed school broadband

school-broadbandNationwide, 23 percent of school districts still do not meet the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) minimum school broadband access goal of 100 kbps per student, according to a state-by-state broadband connectivity report from the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway.

The top three barriers to meeting the FCC’s minimum school broadband goal, according to the report, include:

  • Access to fiber: School districts without fiber are 15 percent less likely to meet connectivity goals.
  • Broadband affordability: Districts that do meet the 100 kpbs per student minimum pay an average cost of $5.07 per Mbps–those that do not meet the goal pay more than double, at $12.33 per Mbps.
  • School district budgets: The average internet access budget in districts that meet the FCC’s connectivity goal is $4.93 per student–more than 2.4 times the $2.08 per student budget for districts that do not meet the school broadband connectivity goals.

In all, 20 million more students have been connected to high-speed broadband over the past 2 years, according to the report. In 2013, just 30 percent of school districts met the Federal Communication Commission’s minimum school broadband access goal. In 2015, that jumped to 77 percent.