Report: Three-Fourths of School Districts Now Meet FCC Broadband Speed Goal
Seventy-four percent of U.S. school districts are meeting the FCC’s 1 Mbps per-student broadband bandwidth goal, according to a collaborative report from Connected Nation’s Connect K-12 Program and Funds for Learning. What’s more, those districts that comply are finding it more cost-feasible to do so.
As many as 27.1 million students in 9,573 school districts have access to internet speeds that are sufficient to support digital learning, the researchers said. This is 5 million greater than in 2022 and an increase of 57.4% since 2020, the report noted.
Districts also are finding it more economical to meet the 1 Mbps per-student goal, the study said. The researchers found that the median cost for those districts meeting or beating the goal this year is 85 cents per megabit.
Connected Nation noted that the cost of service is “substantially higher” for those school districts that have not yet met the speed goal. Those who are falling short pay a median price of $1.55 per megabit.
Other findings from the report:
· Sixteen states now have 80% or more of their districts at 1 Mbps per student, an increase of seven states since last year.
· Kentucky jumped from 49th to 5th place between 2022 and 2023. Ninety-seven percent of its school districts meet the FCC goal.
Although 3,330 of the nation’s 12,911 school districts do not yet meet the FCC school broadband goal, Emily Jordan, vice president of education initiatives for Connected Nation, noted that the findings demonstrate that the FCC’s goal is “not just attainable, it actually benefits school districts in several ways.”
She added that “Students and teachers are getting the connectivity they need in every classroom, every day, and the districts are potentially saving money.”
This was the fourth and final Connected Nation school broadband report