Last year the FCC finished its rules for opening up previously restricted spectrum at 3.5GHz to experimental public use. In particular, this now permits commercial operations in 150MHz of new spectrum in the 3550-3700MHz band which was previously reserved for the Defense Department for coastal navigation use, and fixed satellite services. What does this mean for public school districts? A potential new path and service set for mobile data communications. This is another step in the Obama administration’s effort to expand broadband access.
With the exponential increase of access needed to cloud-based applications for instructional and operational use, Internet reliability is becoming paramount in school systems. So how can school systems provide the necessary access by having multiple Internet connections, or a fiber ring for their Wide Area Network (WAN)? The short answer we found in my school district is to provide additional Internet connections where the school system divides Internet traffic between schools. Let’s take a hypothetical example of a school district with 20 schools.
Last week, CoSN (in partnership with AASA and MDR) unveiled the results of our annual survey that laid out the state of connectivity in schools across the U.S. There is lots of data for both pessimists and optimists among us.
Without question, there are some major challenges that are holding many school systems back from having robust education networks with broadband and WiFi capacity. Score one point for the pessimists.
School districts nationwide are struggling with the costs of building out the high performance, reliable networks needed to support the digital transformation envisioned by President Obama’s ConnectEd initiative.
Washington, DC (October 16, 2014) – New results from CoSN’s (Consortium for School Networking’s) 2nd Annual E-rate and Infrastructure Survey reveal troubling gaps in U.S. school districts broadband and technology infrastructure. The report, released today, identifies affordability and adequate funding as the most significant barriers to delivering sufficient Internet connectivity and transforming the learning environment in schools. This chief hurdle mirrors the major barrier identified in the 2013 survey.