Today we released the beta version of Compare & Connect K-12, an online tool that helps school district technology directors and superintendents view broadband services and bandwidth information for school districts across the country. By creating transparency for K-12 broadband speeds and pricing, Compare & Connect K-12 empowers school leaders to make smart network purchasing decisions and get the most bandwidth for their broadband budgets.
In our work with school district leaders, we’ve seen school districts significantly increase the bandwidth they receive when armed with knowledge about the bandwidth other school districts are buying with similar budgets. In spring 2015, for example, we piloted a transparency program that supported 15 districts in rural Virginia in comparing their speeds and pricing and negotiating with service providers to make upgrades. The result was 500% more bandwidth for only 15% more cost, allowing these districts to meet a connectivity level of 200 kbps per student.
Providing sufficient bandwidth to the classroom is key to enabling digital learning, and providing more information on available bandwidth speeds and services is an important first step in helping school districts meet connectivity goals. Using the newly-public E-rate application data, Compare & Connect K-12 (beta) provides this transparency, allowing users to explore bandwidth speeds and compare broadband services with nearby school districts in a specific location or across the country.
Take a look at the beta release of Compare & Connect K-12 and let us know what you think. We’re continuing to improve the tool and welcome any feedback before the site’s full release later this year.
To access the beta version of the site, go to: www.compareandconnectk12.org, and type in the name of a school district to get started. If you have feedback or questions, contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.