Work to be done: 23.5 million students attend schools that still lack adequate bandwidth to support digital learning in every classroom, every day
Washington, D.C. (November 16, 2022) – Connected Nation’s (CN) Connect K-12 Program has released its 2022 Report on School Connectivity in collaboration with Funds For Learning (FFL). The annual report, now in its third iteration, includes findings on the nation’s progress toward meeting the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) bandwidth goal of 1 Mbps per student in U.S. schools.
The latest data show that 67% of schools districts across the country are now meeting that bandwidth target. In addition, the median cost per megabit for schools meeting the FCC goal has dipped below $1 for the first time.
“These are significant milestones for our nation’s school districts as they strive to ensure that digital teaching and learning are possible for all students, regardless of location,” said Emily Jordan, CN’s Vice President of Education Initiatives. “Only two years ago, the number of districts meeting the FCC ‘s goal was less than half, at just 47%. The good news is the cost of internet access is now lower than ever before, making it possible for more districts to upgrade affordably.”
In fact, the median cost per megabit for schools meeting the FCC goal has decreased substantially in less than 10 years — from $11.73 in 2015 to $4.90 in 2017 to $0.97 in 2022. However, there is still more work to be done.
“Right now, a third of school districts still are not meeting the capacity threshold needed to enable digital learning in every classroom, every day,” said Jordan. “That accounts for 23.5 million students across the United States who still need improved access.”
The data in the 2022 Report on School Connectivity was compiled and analyzed by CN in partnership with FFL and is available to the public on the ConnectK12.org website.
The free site aggregates, analyzes, and visualizes federal E-rate program data and school internet pricing to provide state and district leaders with the critical information they need to negotiate better internet pricing packages and identify broadband solutions.
As a result, Connectk12.org provides both a national snapshot of school connectivity as well as a district-level look at the data. Key takeaways from this year’s Connectivity report include:
- 67% of school districts nationwide now meet or exceed the 1 Mbps per student
- 21.3 million students have adequate bandwidth in their classrooms, an increase of more than 3 million students since 2021
- 4,304 districts nationwide have internet service contracts about to expire — representing a significant opportunity to upgrade for less
- Districts not meeting the FCC goal are paying a higher median price per megabit — $1.75 per Mbps, compared with $0.97 Mbps for those meeting the goal
- The states of Arkansas, Hawaii, and North Dakota have achieved or surpassed the FCC bandwidth goal for 100% of their students
For questions about the 2022 report, the Connect K-12 website, or the program’s data, contact Emily Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Denson, Communications Director
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About Connected Nation: The national nonprofit celebrated 20 years of service in 2021. Connected Nation’s 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. For more information, please visit connectednation.org 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 www.fundsforlearning.com.
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