BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Connected Nation has been selected by EducationSuperHighway to carry forward its mission to ensure state and school district leaders have the information they need to improve school broadband (high-speed internet) connectivity.
This will be made possible through a new tool -- Connect K-12 -- that will equip them with key information and analytics needed to improve school broadband access in their communities. Connect K-12, launching later this year, will provide the broadband data and pricing information that school district and state leaders need to upgrade their bandwidth to the FCC's 1 Megabit per second (Mbps) per student goal.
"Our core belief is that 'Everyone Belongs in a Connected Nation.' To us, that means that no one—and particularly no student—should ever be without the opportunities and resources that having access to broadband can provide," said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, Connected Nation. "For years, we've worked to help schools bring instructional technology and better connectivity to the classroom, but Connect K-12 will enable us to provide key data and insights that will help state and local leaders take informed action to improve school connectivity in districts across the country. All of us at Connected Nation are honored and excited to work with EducationSuperHighway in launching this tool and building upon their impressive legacy as they prepare to sunset later this year."
Founded in 2012, the nonprofit reached its goal of connecting 99 percent of schools to internet connections that provide at least 100 Kbps of bandwidth for every student by 2020. In accomplishing that mission, EducationSuperHighway will hand off the next stage of this work to Connected Nation.
"Strong leadership, actionable data, and partnerships at the state and national level have been critical to increasing school broadband access." said Evan Marwell, Founder and CEO, EducationSuperHighway. "We are thrilled to partner with Connected Nation. As a leader in the broadband and public-sector space, we feel confident that they will continue to work in partnership with state leaders and schools in an effort to ensure every child has access to the opportunities digital learning can provide."
Connect K-12 will provide actionable internet speed and pricing information on K-12 broadband connectivity across America using publicly available data from the federal Schools and Libraries Program (E-rate). The tool will equip state and school district leaders with the information necessary to continue to drive school network upgrades toward the 1 Mbps per student goal.
The tool will also report national and state connectivity trends to ensure that the E-rate program continues to effectively support school broadband access.
"We are honored to carry on EducationSuperHighway's mission to enhance school connectivity across America, with Connect K-12 as the foundation of our work," said Brent Legg, Vice President of Government Affairs at Connected Nation. "Improving access remains a challenge for many school districts, particularly in rural areas, as they seek to keep pace with growing technology demands. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to launch and maintain this new tool for the benefit of state and school district leaders everywhere."
Funds For Learning, a professional firm specializing in the federal E-rate Program, has been selected as the technology partner to manage the data readiness and software elements of the tool.
"Funds For Learning is widely recognized as one of the nation's preeminent E-rate firms, and they're the perfect partner to help us ensure that Connect K-12 and the intelligence it will provide are truly best-in-class for the state and local stakeholders we will serve," said Ferree.
Connect K-12 will be available free nationwide later this year.