Journey to 99%

Many organizations, state and federal agencies, governors, and individuals were critical to connecting every classroom in America. See highlights from 1996 to today that made it possible for every student to take advantage of the promise of digital learning.

Telecommunications Act Passes

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (1996 Telecom Act) expands the scope of universal service to include increased, affordable access to both telecommunications and advanced services, such as high-speed Internet, for all consumers. It promotes the availability of quality services at reasonable prices and is aimed at increasing access to advanced telecommunications throughout the country.

Read More 1996

USAC is Founded

USAC is an independent, not-for-profit corporation designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the administrator of the Universal Service Fund. Under the authority of the 1996 Telecom Act, the FCC puts USAC in charge of administering the collection and disbursement of universal service funds.

Read More 1998
No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind (ESEA) Passes

In 2001, with strong bipartisan support, Congress passes the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) to reauthorize ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act). This prompts a push for anytime, anywhere access to data.

2001
Maine Learning Technology Initiative

Emergence of 1:1 Initiatives

Maine becomes the first state to launch a statewide 1:1 student to device ratio computing program. With the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, Maine becomes the first state to provide a device to every 7th and 8th grader.

Read More 2002
YouTube Logo

YouTube is Founded

YouTube, now America's leading online video-sharing platform, is founded. This becomes the original platform for many edtech products and companies, including Khan Academy.

Read More 2005

Digital Learning Tools Proliferate

Large companies such as Google begin to offer free tools for the classroom. The Oregon Department of Education partners with Google to become the first state to fully adopt Google for Education. 

Read More 2010

US Department of Education Conducts Nationwide Survey

A nationwide connectivity survey hosted by the US Department of Education reveals that 21st-century classrooms need more broadband. New tools and programs such as Khan Academy (2008) are emerging, but teachers don't have enough bandwidth to effectively use online resources.

Read More 2010

Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)

The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program contributes $4B into broadband expansion across the country; many states use the money to push their state-owned fiber networks out to schools.

Read More 2012

Annual Digital Learning Day Begins

The Alliance for Excellent Education launches annual celebration of a national Digital Learning Day, which provides a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practices. They also showcase innovative educators and instructional technology programs that improve student outcomes.

Read More 2012

SETDA Sets Bandwidth Goals

SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association) releases the Broadband Imperative Report, which sets a now widely-shared standard of 100 kilobits per second (kbps) per student as a 2014 bandwidth minimum and 1 Megabits per second (Mbps) per student as a 2018 bandwidth minimum.

Read More 2012
EducationSuperHighway Logomark

EducationSuperHighway is Founded

Evan Marwell founds EducationSuperHighway.

Read More 2012

ConnectED Initaitive is Established

ConnectED moves state testing online. This further highlights the need for classroom broadband.

Read More 2013

Alliance for Excellence Education introduces Future Ready

The Alliance for Excellent Education introduces the Future Ready initiative and framework with the belief that technology is a necessary tool for equity. The effort aims to support school districts in creating personalized and technology-backed learning experiences for all students.

Read More 2013

FCC Opens Docket for E-rate Modernization Order

EducationSuperHighway and various EdLiNC organizations begin to submit comments and data to advocate for a modernized E-rate program.

Read More 2013

ConnectEd State of the Union Address

President Obama calls upon the private sector to work with government and nonprofits to ensure kids can leverage technology tools and products. Many companies respond by donating hardware, software, professional development resources, and digital content to schools.

Read More 2014

E-rate Modernization

The FCC modernizes the federal E-rate program. Through this, broadband data becomes publicly available. It also creates funding for fiber infrastructure build-outs and establishes fiber as a standard for schools.

Read More 2014

State of the States

EducationSuperHighway releases the first State of the States report to inform governors on the status of K-12 broadband in their states.

Read More 2015

NGA + ESH Policy Academy

The National Governors Association partners with EducationSuperHighway to host the Policy Academy. Six states join to discuss the state of K-12 broadband: Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wyoming.

Read More 2016

Superintendents Take the Future Ready Pledge

By 2016, over 3,100 superintendents across the country have signed on to commit to the Future Ready Pledge that was initiated in 2014.

Read More 2016

Arkansas State Network

Arkansas is the first state to connect 100% of their schools on fiber.

Read More 2017

Classroom Technology Usage Skyrockets

EdTech magazine reports that over 50% of teachers are using 1:1 computing.

Read More 2017

E-rate Advocacy Continues

CoSN, SHLB, Funds for Learning, and EducationSuperHighway work together to submit comments to the FCC to make the Category 2 program permanent. Chairman Pai approves permanent Category 2 budgets for schools to purchase internal network equipment and services. Earlier advocacy related to unfair program delays and denials speeds up the fiber construction approval process for hundreds of school districts.

Read More 2019

Ubiquitous Technology in K-12 Classrooms

87% of teachers say they use digital learning tools at least a few days a week.

92% of administrators agree that they see great value in using digital learning tools in the classroom.

96% of students in 3rd-5th grade say they use digital learning tools to learn some or a lot of the time in class.

(Newschools Gallup Study)

Read More 2019

99% Connected

99% of public K-12 schools in America are connected to high-speed Internet.

Read More 2019

Incredible Nationwide Progress

All 50 states see improvement in connectivity. Nearly every state has connected 98% or more of their schools to fiber infrastructure and students to the minimum bandwidth of 100 kbps per student.

Read More 2020

US Department of Education conducts nationwide survey

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USDE’s nationwide survey shows that students lack access to adequate broadband. For example, students from Santa Fe High School wrote to Sal Khan expressing their frustration with slow Internet. They explained how they believed they would learn more, and have access to more opportunity, with better Internet connections.

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ConnectEd State of the Union address

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President Obama announced the support from Apple, Microsoft, Sprint and Verizon to deliver on the promise to our nation’s students.

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First State of the States Report

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From 2015 onward, ESH produces the State of the States annual report to track progress of broadband upgrades and celebrate state-wide and nation-wide successes. See below for past reports:

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NGA + ESH Policy Academy

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The National Governors Association partners with EducationSuperHighway to host the Policy Academy. Six states join to discuss the state of K-12 broadband: Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wyoming.

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Arkansas State Network

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Arkansas is the first state to provide enough bandwidth to make digital learning a reality in every classroom, every day.

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E-rate advocacy continues

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The community of Woodman, Montana writes letters to their representatives to advocate for upgraded Internet and technology equipment. Students share powerful reasons why they need access to technology to stand a fighting chance at success in high school, and beyond.

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Ubiquitous technology in K-12 classrooms

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87%

of teachers say they use digital learning tools at least a few days a week

fr-92-administrators

92%

of administrators agree that they see great value in using digital learning tools in the classroom

96%

of students in 3rd-5th grade say they use digital learning tools to learn some or a lot of the time in class

(Newschools Gallup Study)

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