1996 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.
1998 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.
2001 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.
2002 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.
2010 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.
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.
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.
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.
2013 ConnectED Initaitive is established
ConnectED moves state testing online. This further highlights the need for classroom broadband.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2017 Classroom technology usage skyrockets
EdTech magazine reports that over 50% of teachers are using 1:1 computing.