What an honor to join federal, state, and school district leaders from across the United States at the Report Release and Hill Briefing event in Washington, D.C., for the launch of SETDA’s latest report, The Broadband Imperative II: Equitable Access for Learning. To highlight the importance of this report, SETDA brought together an impressive panel of speakers and each presenter shared their vision and passion for why equitable access to high-capacity broadband is so crucial to everyone in our K–12 community.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s opening remarks pointed out how the groundbreaking original SETDA broadband report published in 2012 sparked the development of E-rate 2.0, and she emphasized her current passion and interest in ensuring afterschool access to high-capacity broadband for all student demographics.
Colorado Representative Jared Polis and the Department of Education Director of Educational Technology Joseph South picked up the charge and reinforced the critical nature of providing ubiquitous broadband access for college and career readiness.
State education technology leaders Jeff Egly from Utah and Laurence Cocco from New Jersey spoke about the statewide education network programs and initiatives in their states to provide improved broadband services to schools. While their approaches to providing statewide education networks differ greatly, their objectives are the same—aggregate demand and provide increased broadband service at affordable prices.
Finally, Lisa Spencer, the Supervisor of the Technology Training and Instructional Technology Department for Prince George’s County Public Schools, shared insight into what is possible when robust broadband and network services are available to support a wide range of innovative instructional technology initiatives and assessment requirements.
The Broadband Imperative II puts forth new forward-looking milestones for broadband Internet access in schools providing “contextual recommendations,” as noted by Laurence Cocco, for small, medium, and large school districts. Another important finding disclosed in the report is the increased demand on Internet access capacity for education networks due to instructional and administrative applications shifting to the cloud.
SETDA’s leadership—Dr. Tracy Weeks, Executive Director, and Christine Fox, Deputy Executive Director—wrapped up the briefing by highlighting the importance of increased access to provide an equitable, personalized, and deeper learning experience for all students. This new report is sure to become as well-recognized and revered as its predecessor. Click here for more information and to download the executive summary or full report.