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FCC: Faster Broadband Needed for Schools, Libraries

FCC: Faster Broadband Needed for Schools, Libraries - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released a report on the state of broadband connectivity at schools and libraries receiving funds from the federal E-rate program, revealing that both need  faster broadband.

The report is based on data from a survey examining the success and challenges related to broadband use faced by schools and libraries. The survey is meant to aid FCC in making data-driven policy decisions for the E-rate program by providing information on the educational and technological needs of schools and libraries.

Some of the survey highlights include:

“¢    Ninety-five percent of all E-rate survey respondents have some form of terrestrial broadband connection to at least one facility, while 2 percent use satellite and 3 percent use dial-up.
“¢    Nearly 80 percent of survey respondents say their broadband connections do not fully meet their current needs. Slow connection speed is the main reason current Internet connectivity does not meet the needs for 55 percent of these respondents.
“¢    Thirty-nine percent of survey respondents said cost of service is a barrier in meeting their Internet needs, and 27 percent cite cost of installation as an obstacle.
“¢    Ten percent of survey respondents have broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or greater, and more than half have broadband speeds greater than 3 Mbps. More than half of school districts subscribe to a fiber optic connection, and 66 percent of respondents provide some wireless connectivity for staff, students or library patrons.
“¢    For schools, email is the most-used application (98 percent regularly use or access email), and the most essential (69 percent consider it the most essential).
“¢    For libraries, online reference materials are the most-used application, and the most essential (62 percent consider it the most essential).

Providing more than $2.25 billion annually to support phone and Internet connections at schools and libraries, the E-Rate program was recently upgraded to allow schools and libraries to get higher-speed broadband at lower cost.

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