Many schools and libraries now report slower internet speeds than home service, despite having, on average, over 200 times more users. That should soon change.
The Federal Communication Commission's "E Rate" program provides internet service to the nation's public schools and libraries. In response to surveys showing lower speeds, acting FCC chair Mignon Clyburn announced a plan to bring service closer to the levels enjoyed by home customers.
Problems arise from both the increasing numbers of people using the service, as well as the more digitally complicated information accessed for learning.
According to BroadbandBreakfast.com:
Reforms to be implemented to the E-Rate program
include the provision of affordable, high-capacity broadband for schools and
libraries, the improvement of administrative efficiency and the maximization of
cost-effectiveness in purchases. The agency also said it would work to improve
its data collection methods in order to be able to more fairly allocate funding
and phase out funding for outdated services so that more money can be allotted
to investments that will increase bandwidth
Schools in rural and urban areas should expect the same types of upgrades as well.
Since E Rate was established in 1996, internet connections in schools and libraries rose from 14 percent to nearly 100 percent, according to the FCC.