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Almost 1 million Texas students lack home broadband access

Earlier this month, Connected Texas released its Broadband and Education – Connecting Students in Texas report, revealing almost 1 million Texas students lack home broadband access. The report was released in conjunction with the Texas Broadband Symposium that was hosted by the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and co-hosted by Connected Texas. 

Among the findings from the report:

·      Only 8% of Texas households with K-12 students do not own a computer, but more than 950,000 students in the state do not have broadband at home.

·      Students living in homes with annual household incomes below $35,000, rural students, and Hispanic students are less likely to have home computers or broadband service at home.

·      Not all students use the Internet at school – one in four rural parents of K-12 students in Texas (25%) say their child does not use the Internet at school.

·      The top barrier to broadband adoption among Texas parents of K-12 students is the parents’ own lack of digital literacy skills.

·       One in five Texas parents of K-12 students (20%) say their children’s school provides students with laptop or tablet computers; Hispanic parents, those with annual household incomes below $35,000, and those living in rural parts of the state are more likely to report that their children’s schools provide computers to students.

·      Over one-half of parents of K-12 students whose schools provide computers say that they have helped their children’s grades, and six out of ten parents who do not have broadband at home agree that having Internet service at home would make it easier for their child to do homework.

For this report, Connected Texas conducted a random digit dial telephone survey of 1,200 adult heads of households across the state, as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The SBI grant program was created by the Broadband Data Improvement Act, unanimously passed by Congress in 2008 and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.