According to U.S. News, only 4 million students had internet access in 2014 and now 39.2 million students have internet access. This was made possible through the modernization of a federal program and the coalition of federal and state lawmakers dedicated to the cause.
“America made a historic promise to our students in 2013 to connect every school district to high-speed internet,” said Evan Marwell, CEO of EducationSuperHighway, a nonprofit that advocates for upgraded internet access.
Even though we have made substantial progress, 6.5 million students don’t have internet access. These students are expected to have internet access by 2020 based on current growth models.
“We’ve made great progress since then,” Maxwell said. “However, our work is far from over. It is critical that federal and state leaders, schools, and service providers continue the hard work necessary to close the connectivity gap.”
In 2014, the E-Rate program was modernized under the Obama administration providing internet connectivity funding to schools and libraries. The Federal Communications Commission approved a $1.5 billion funding increase. The commission also set new standards to expand access.
As of September 2017, 46 state governors have made a pledge to upgrade their schools’ broadband networks and are allocating nearly $200 million matching fund for construction so schools, even those hard to reach, have internet access.
Source: U.S. News