White House Launches ConnectED Initiative to Expand High-Speed Broadband to America’s Schools and Libraries
June 6, 2013 11:59 AMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — June 6, 2013 — Today, President Obama announced the new ConnectED initiative that will, within five years, connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries. By modernizing and leveraging the existing E-Rate program, ConnectED seeks to jump-start efforts to connect American students to modern broadband connections and provide educators with the infrastructure and tools needed to accelerate student learning.
“NATOA welcomes the prospect of enhanced broadband and technology for our nation’s schools and libraries and applauds this new initiative,” noted NATOA President Joanne Hovis. “Our cities, towns and counties that currently provide high bandwidth communications services to their schools and libraries can attest to the extraordinary educational and community benefits of extending world class communications to our most vital anchor institutions.”
A fact sheet distributed by the White House noted that fewer than 20 percent of existing school internet connections are meeting teaching needs. This plan would be a one-time investment with the goal of providing 99 percent of students with access to Internet connections of at least a 100-megabit-per-second connection within five years.