Middle school kids playing with robotics in class

EducationSuperHighway announces new milestone in closing the K-12 connectivity gap

Today, we released our fourth annual State of the States report: Expanding Digital Learning to Every Classroom, Every Day and we are proud to announce that 40.7 million more students have access to high-speed Internet connections than just five years ago.

So as we kick off the 2018 school year, we know that reaching the goal of connecting 99% of America’s K-12 students is well within our reach. Since 2013, the number of states with 99% of students connected has swelled from four to 20. This year, 98% of our public school districts have access to the FCC’s minimum standard of 100 kbps per student.

But we are clear that the job isn’t complete. Over 2.3 million students still don’t have access to the minimum connectivity required for digital learning, down from 6.5 million last year.

More highlights from this year’s report:

  • The number of students with access to the broadband they need for digital learning grew from 4 million in 2013 to 44.7 million today
  • Upgrading 62 school districts will finish the job of connecting 99% of students
  • The cost of K-12 Internet access has declined 85%  in the last five years
  • Since 2015, the amount invested in Wi-Fi nearly doubled to $2.9 billion, but 7,823 school districts have over $1.4 billion in E-rate funds set to expire in 2019

44.7 million students and 2.6 million teachers in more than 81,000 schools have the Internet access they need for digital learning

Today’s Digital Classrooms

With our goal in sight, we also recognize that the 100 kbps per student goal established in 2013 is not sufficient for students in today’s technology-driven world. As the demand for connectivity continues to rise, school districts are not just accepting the FCC’s recommended 2018 goal of 1 Mbps per student, but 28% of them are already meeting it. This powerful connection will allow the benefits of digital learning to reach every classroom, every day.

100 kbps is not the finish line; it’s a starting point.

The progress in reaching the FCC’s 1 Mbps goal:

  • Nearly half of the country’s smallest school districts are already meeting this mark, while 15% of the nation’s largest districts have crossed this milestone.
  • Five years ago, only 30% of schools met the FCC’s 100 kbps goal. Today, 28% of districts are meeting the FCC’s updated goal of 1 Mbps.

What we’ve accomplished in five years is nothing short of incredible. Together, we will finish the job and deliver on our nation’s promise to connect America’s public school students. 

Explore the full report at stateofthestates.educationsuperhighway.org.