It is a simple fact that access to high-speed broadband is now as vital a component of K-12 school infrastructure as electricity, plumbing, air conditioning and heating. The same tools that have transformed and enriched our personal, civic and professional lives are dramatically improving learning experiences intended to prepare today’s students for college and 21st century careers. Given that bandwidth capacity determines which online content, educational applications, and digital learning service students and educators can use effectively in the classroom, it is in the national interest to ensure a baseline broadband capacity in and throughout all schools and to incent continued digital learning innovation. SETDA has long recognized the importance of broadband in K-12 education. In 2008, SETDA provided a report, Class of 2020 Action Plan for Education, High-Speed Broadband Access for All Kids: Breaking Through the Barriers. In May 2012, SETDA released the groundbreaking report, The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Education Infrastructure Needs. The Broadband Imperative provides an up-to-date assessment of access to broadband by students and teachers (in and out of schools); current trends driving the need for more broadband in teaching, learning and school operations; and specific recommendations for the broadband capacity needed to ensure all students have access to the tools and resources they need to be college and career ready by 2014-15 and beyond.
Determining Broadband Speed
It is critically important for schools and districts to understand what their broadband capacity is. There are numerous tools available to help with this understanding; however, those tools may provide different data for the same school due to technical differences in the way the tools report progress. To provide clarity regarding these differences, SETDA commissioned Netcraft, a highly-regarded Internet services company, to conduct an independent technical analysis of some tools. Learn more about school speed test tools.