- Raising the Cap: F.C.C. to Increase Broadband Funding in Schools
- NJ School Chiefs Rub Elbows with Obama, Top Education Officials at White House
- More than 100 School Leaders Chosen to Attend White House Conference on Digital Learning
- Obama Makes Pitch to Expand High-Speed Internet Access to Schools
- FCC aims for major internet investment in schools, libraries
- Broadband Internet Access, County by County: Mapping New Jersey's Digital Divide
High speed Internet can enhance every level of education from kindergarten through high school to college to graduate school. Access to the internet has enabled education to no longer be confined to the classroom, and provides the platform to teach students in creative and affordable ways with tools that can allow students to learn the same course material in less time with smaller budgets.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recognized this need and is revamping the E-rate program and doubling the funding for broadband capacity in schools to procure the resources they need to build network capacity.
In order to take full advantage of broadband funding opportunities, it is important for schools to know their current broadband capacity and usage and what upload and download speeds is currently available from their providers.
As part of the State Broadband Initiative funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant funds, New Jersey has been collecting broadband data from the community anchor institutions and updating the New Jersey Broadband Map and National Broadband Map every six months.
The data collected is included on New Jersey's broadband map and will also become
the official broadband map that the FCC, policy makers, local planning officials, and other key stakeholders can use to plan and determine eligibility of broadband related funding and grants. The final data submission occurred in October 2014.
Schools can also use the broadband map to substantiate their opportunity to apply for a grant to upgrade their broadband technology infrastructure and get the technical assistance needed to better serve their communities.
The chart below depicts the current broadband capacity for schools across the State. As you can see, the blue legend indicates there is still a lot of data missing to truly obtain a full picture of broadband capacity in New Jersey's schools.
Also of importance to note, the green legend indicates that some schools have next generation broadband capacity, which is an opportunity to help NJ schools to obtain the funding to gain the capacity needed.
The map will be the official tool of the FCC for broadband funding and broadband assessment nationwide.