The Education Superhighway: E-Rate

Written by Kristi Salmon on November 12, 2015.

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The way our children learn is changing. Thanks to the power of the Internet, schools are utilizing innovative digital technologies to provide jobs and information, connecting both teachers and students to each other.

In 1996, the FCC established the E-rate program to help the nation’s schools and libraries connect with broadband; that year only 14% of the nation’s K-12 schools had access to the Internet. Today, just about every school and library are able to connect and get online. This program has expanded to include the popularity of Wi-Fi networks, while focusing on those areas that have an urgent need to move away from their legacy technology to modern connectivity, ensuring that millions of students are able to access the Internet.

The rise of technology

It’s estimated that over 10 million students and teachers will be connected to the Internet within the next year, increasing the rate of those who had previously been unable to get online. A report done on students in 2014 showed that 89% of high school students and 73% of middle school students had access to a smartphone, while another 66% of students within both groups had access to a laptop.

Many of these students use their devices to access class information, taking tests, or watching teacher created videos; some schools are supplying students with tablets or laptops to help in this endeavor. However, with so many students, teachers, and administrators using these devices, at the same time, schools and libraries need to have sufficient bandwidth in order to keep everyone online without maxing out the connection.

The Mediacom Business advantage

Mediacom Business has been a leader in providing high capacity broadband in rural America using our proprietary fiber optic network. With our Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions, Mediacom Business is helping to deliver the bandwidth that administrators, teachers, and students need in order to keep their schools on the cutting edge of curriculum without breaking the budget.

The use of laptops, tablets and other electronic applications in schools continues to rise. Programs like E-learning, distance learning, district-wide online testing and video on demand curriculum, among others, have created a greater need for high capacity bandwidth. Mediacom Business is already delivering Gigabit+ capacity to many of the schools and libraries in the nearly 1,500 communities it serves.

We’re a USAC registered provider, with experience, expertise, and certifications to support any and all educational facilities that want to begin E-rate initiatives. Our experienced engineers monitor the network, making sure that your school is operating at peak performance and your students can access a world of information.