How America’s school districts can improve their internet connectivity for digital learning in every classroom, every day

47% of school districts nationwide, representing 15.4 million students, are meeting the FCC’s recommended bandwidth per student

Elementary schoolgirl using computer on a class in the classroom.

Washington, DC (April 21, 2021) – Less than half of America’s school districts are meeting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recommended bandwidth of 1 Mpbs per student. Just 47% of school districts are meeting that goal according to data published through Connected Nation’s Connect K-12 website*.

“The good news here is that 33% of school districts—that’s 4,300 nationwide—are eligible to upgrade their bandwidth using the free and easily accessible data available on Connect K-12,” said Emily Jordan, Vice President, Connect K-12. “Trends show that districts meeting the 1 Mbps per student goal are also paying less overall for bandwidth, with districts paying a median of $1.50 less per megabit than districts not meeting the goal in 2020.  So, essentially, Connect K-12 helps state and school district leaders identify ways to expand bandwidth in a way that’s also cost-saving, so their federal E-rate dollars go further.”

This FREE tool easily aggregates, analyzes, and visualizes E-rate data so school district and state leaders can more easily and effectively negotiate better internet pricing and reach their connectivity goals.

School districts are eligible in different years to leverage those E-rate funds which are federal dollars set aside for schools and libraries to upgrade their internet connectivity. Right now:

  • 47% of districts nationwide are already meeting the 1 Mbps per student goal, which is 15.4 million students, 6,132 school districts.
  • 1,508 districts serving 5.84M students were upgraded to bandwidth of 1 Mbps/student in 2020.
  • 6,132 of America’s 12,862 districts have upgraded their connections and are meeting the bandwidth goal of at least 1 Mbps/student.
  • 15.4 million students are meeting 1Mbps/student; that’s 33% of students nationwide.

“As COVID-19 and the ramifications of the pandemic continue to impact the education community at all levels, school districts will need to continue making adjustments to accommodate this new reality—a reality that will inevitably rely on increased technology and robust connectivity,” said Jordan. “And certainly, more students will have devices than ever before—devices that are completely dependent upon having robust internet access at school and at home even as schools open up to in-person learning.”

In total, 44 governors have said they are committed to reaching the 1Mpbs per student goal and are working toward that effort. You can find their comments by state on the Connect K-12 website.

Those using the site can also navigate the data by simply inputting a school district or state and choosing which level they’d like to see—overview, bandwidth details, or E-rate details. The site compiles the data which can then be downloaded in an easy to print or save pdf.

To learn more, visit https://connectk12.org/.

*Based on E-rate data published in October 2020

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Jessica Denson, Communications Director
Connected Nation
jdenson@connectednation.hatfield.marketing
502-341-2024

About Connected Nation: Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.

Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit connectednation.hatfield.marketing and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.

About Funds For Learning: Funds For Learning® is a professional firm specializing in the federal E-rate funding program. Its mission is to provide high-quality consulting and support services for the needs of E-rate program participants, including preparing and submitting paperwork, and helping clients to understand and maintain compliance with E-rate rules and regulations. Proudly serving schools and libraries since 1997. For more information please visit https://www.fundsforlearning.com/.

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