In 2013, our nation made a promise to close the K-12 digital divide and level the playing field for children throughout America. In the past four years,
unparalleled bipartisan action has led to exceptional progress toward fulfilling this promise by connecting an additional 35.2 million of our students. This
progress has been possible thanks to the joint efforts of many, including:
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which modernized the E-rate program.
- 46 governors, who have led the effort to upgrade their states’ school broadband networks.
- State and school district leaders, who have brought high-speed connectivity to 8,379 school districts.
- Service providers, who have dramatically improved the affordability of broadband.
In 2017, the progress made possible by E-rate modernization continued, reducing the number of students without high-speed Internet access by
5.1 million and the number of schools without 21st-century broadband infrastructure by 45%, thereby setting the stage for the nation to deliver on our promise of digital equity by 2020.
39.2 million students and 2.6 million teachers in 74,000 schools now have the Internet access they need for digital learning.
Since 2013, the bipartisan effort to connect America’s students to 21st-century learning has delivered high-speed broadband to 94% of public school districts, representing an increase of 35.2 million students and 2.3 million teachers who are now meeting the FCC’s minimum Internet access goal of 100 kbps per student.
To date, nine states have achieved the remarkable milestone of delivering high-speed Internet access to 100% of their students. This dramatic improvement in connectivity has leveled the playing field for students regardless of their level of affluence or location, and it is propelling forward digital learning opportunities across the country.
We also dramatically improved the infrastructure needed to deliver high-speed broadband to classrooms.
To deliver high-speed broadband to students and teachers, every school needs a fiber-optic connection and every classroom needs a Wi-Fi access point. Today,
estimates show that 97% of schools are connected by fiber and 88% of schools report having sufficient Wi-Fi in their classrooms.
In 2013, our nation made a promise to close the K-12 digital divide and level the playing field for children throughout America. In the past four years, …