ConnectEd Initiative for wireless connectivity sees progress


By Casey Crow

Staff Writer

Two years ago, President Barack Obama announced that he was setting a goal to provide 99 percent of American students with access to next-generation broadband in their classrooms and libraries. The ConnectEd Initiative plans to accomplish this goal by the year 2018.

Since Obama’s announcement, the public and private sectors have committed over $10 billion of funding and in-kind commitments as part of the effort to transform education for American students.

In addition, to leverage the technology, thousands of educators have pledged to help realize the president’s vision to move America’s schools into the digital age.

The White House recently sent out an update on the progress of the initiative, which states that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-rate program will give $161 million this week alone to bring wi-fi and high-speed Internet to classrooms in over 10,000 schools and more than 500 libraries across the nation.

The E-rate program helps provide the infrastructure investment necessary to upgrade schools’ basic systems to high-speed wireless broadband. The program is expanding its operating budget by $1.5 billion per year, which means an additional $8 billion toward the project over the five-year timeline.

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