2015 State of the States
A report on the state of broadband connectivity in America's K-12 public schools.
In the last two years, America has connected 20 million more students to high-speed broadband. Now, state leaders must act to get every student the 100 kbps of bandwidth they need for digital learning.
are not meeting the
minimum 100 kbps per student goal
Click on a state below to view its connectivity
- 90-100% connected
- 75-89% connected
- 50-74% connected
- 0-49% connected
School districts meeting 100 kbps/student goal
|% of school districts meeting 100 kbps/student goal||% of schools with the fiber connections needed to meet bandwidth targets||% of school districts accessing their E-rate budgets for Wi-Fi networks||% of school districts meeting the $3/Mbps Internet access target|
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|* These states monitor their networks and have indicated that all schools have sufficient bandwidth to meet their current demand.|
|** State self-assessment of fiber availability is higher than E-rate data suggests.|
States are taking action to connect all students
Rhode Island wireless initiative
Rhode Island created the Wireless Classroom Initiative that provided $20 million to expand wireless access to classrooms state-wide.
Improving connectivity in Virginia
Governor McAuliffe and the Virginia Department of Education supported a district-led pilot to explore a collaborative approach to upgrading Internet access. As a result, five school divisions upgraded bandwidth by 500% for only 15% additional cost.
Arkansas state agencies pull together to meet a common goal
The Arkansas Public School Computer Network, which provides connectivity to all of Arkansas’s K-12 classrooms, received a major boost this year. Following a successful RFP supported by Governor Asa Hutchinson, the network is upgrading from mostly outdated copper infrastructure that could only deliver 5 kilobits-per-second per student. By July 2017, the majority of the state’s 276 school districts and education cooperatives will be upgraded to a high-speed network that will deliver at least 40 times the bandwidth of the old network.
California mitigates the cost of upgrading to fiber
Fiber infrastructure provides a scalable solution for delivering the bandwidth that schools need to provide digital learning. However, the one-time construction cost is beyond the reach of many California schools. Recognizing this financial hurdle, California’s Governor Jerry Brown provided funding that established the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant. After identifying qualifying schools, the grant executed a RFP to solicit fiber construction bids. To date, 171 schools have been selected for upgrades, 95 percent of which will soon be connected to fiber.
North Carolina modernizes Wi-Fi capacity in 61 school districts
In an effort to help districts overcome inside-the-building infrastructure barriers to digital learning, the state of North Carolina issued an RFP to get vendors throughout the state to propose solutions for wireless, Ethernet switching, cabling, configuration, caching, and managed Wi-Fi services. Sixty-one out of 115 districts participated in the program, allowing them to receive equipment and services at prices significantly below the vendors’ list prices. Of the 61 districts that participated in the first round of financing, 95 percent were able to place a Wi-Fi access point in every classroom.
New Jersey proves that cooperation equals money in the bank
The New Jersey Department of Education scored a major coup in 2015 when they supported the Middlesex Regional Educational Services Commission in aggregating the purchase of broadband services by participating school districts. Participating districts saw their average per-unit cost of Internet access drop to $6.40 per Megabit per second for the 2015-16 school year (compared to the statewide average of $32 per Megabit per second in the previous school year). At the same time, they also saw their average Internet bandwidth increase by 152%, from 284 Mbps to 718 Mbps.
Gov. Martinez leads the way
New Mexico’s state legislature authorized $50M over a five year period to improve K-12 broadband infrastructure. With leadership from governor Susana Martinez, New Mexico’s Public Education Department, Public School Facilities Authority, and Department of Information Technology are collaborating on a program that will put New Mexico’s K-12 schools in a position to deliver high-speed broadband by 2018.
Georgia leverages university network to upgrade K-12 schools
By leveraging their existing assets, Georgia schools now have the bandwidth they need to support digital learning. Governor Nathan Deal supported a plan that connected K-12 schools to PeachNet, the state’s higher education fiber network. Following a successful RFP, 191 district hubs were connected to the network during the 2015 summer break. The expanded connectivity will help public schools to better achieve their educational goals.
Every day across the country, teachers use technology in their classrooms to transform education for our kids. With technology, learning is more personalized to meet the needs of students, more collaborative to engage every type of learner, and students gain access to new educational opportunities. Digital learning will ensure every student in this country has equal access to a high-quality education.Learn how schools use technology to transform education
Twenty-one million of America’s students do not have the connectivity needed to take advantage of the promise of digital learning. The first annual State of the States report is intended to spur action by governors and state leaders to close the connectivity gap by helping them understand the state of connectivity in their K-12 public schools and by identifying opportunities for action.Find out where your state stands