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The Typical School Network

For each of the three main pieces of a typical district network, the FCC has adopted connectivity standards. Scroll over network diagram for connectivity goals.

Robust broadband that fully supports digital learning requires that each part of a district’s network be working in unison and at full capacity. If one or more of the pieces of the network is broken or underperforming, then high-speed broadband and therefore rich, digital learning content cannot reach students’ devices.


School District Network

Three Prerequisites to Improving School Connectivity


Every school needs access to fiber.

Every school needs a fiber-optic (or alternative scalable bandwidth) connection. It is the most cost-effective way to deliver high-speed connectivity. Districts with fiber connections on average have 10x more bandwidth.


Bandwidth must be affordable.

The cost of broadband access has continuously decreased since 2013.  From $22 per Mbps in 2013, the cost of broadband today is at $2.25 per Mbps. However, affordability still remains a challenge for school districts as there continues to be significant variation in what districts pay for Internet access, especially for higher-bandwidth circuits.


Every classroom must have robust Wi-Fi.

Wireless technology allows for connectivity to reach all the way to students’ devices and enables the rich digital learning that can transform our education system. The FCC has allotted $150 per student over the course of 5 years from 2014-19 totaling to over $5B in available funds to upgrade internal networks in every classroom.