Consider the fact that more than 90 percent of households with a college-educated parent use the internet – and fewer than 50 percent of households with less than a high-school education have internet access. And here’s what we know about students who don’t have broadband internet access at home: They perform worse on standardized tests, and have difficulty applying for and securing jobs. There are currently significant disparities in internet access.
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As more schools use the internet for interacting with students and customizing assignments, it’s not fair to let those disparities handicap the students and schools that are already behind in many other ways. The Obama Administration just announced ConnectHome — a plan to bring high-speed broadband internet to low-income housing in 27 cities and one Native American tribal community.
President Obama has made expanding broadband internet access a priority of his Administration. Since 2009, investments from the federal government have led to the deployment or upgrading of well over 100,000 miles of network infrastructure, while 45 million additional Americans have adopted broadband. The President’s ConnectED initiative aims to connect 99 percent of American students to high-speed broadband in their classrooms by 2018. And in January of this year the President announced several steps that the Administration would take to ensure that fast and reliable broadband is available to more Americans at lower cost, including efforts to promote community-based broadband and a call for State and local governments to roll back short-sighted regulations that restrict competition.