Fast and reliable broadband access is critical for schools.

More than half of school and library respondents in a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) e-Rate survey say they provide some form of wireless internet access for school employees and students, but almost 80 percent of those same respondents said their broadband connections are inadequate.

Fifty-five percent of those who said their broadband connections are inadequate said that slow connection speed was the deciding factor in that decision.

Ten percent of survey respondents have broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or faster, and more than half (55 percent) have broadband speeds greater than 3 Mbps. More than half of school districts surveyed (60 percent) use a fiber optic connection, and 66 percent of respondents offer wireless internet access for staff, students, or library patrons.

For more stories on broadband in schools, see the following:

For minorities, new ‘digital divide’ seen

New devices allow for mobile wireless broadband

Education disappointed by net-neutrality ‘loopholes’

Slightly more than half (56 percent) of survey respondents said they plan to implement or expand their use of digital textbooks in the next two to three years, and 45 percent said they expect to implement or expand handheld devices for educational purposes.