There’s been a push in recent years to extend broadband Internet service into the country’s more rural areas, and the issue has become pressing in Appalachia as we all try to find ways to transition the economy into the future. Broadband will play a critical role in this transition. (Creative Commons photo)
But little attention is given to the impact broadband capabilities have on K-12 schools. “According to Education Superhighway, a nonprofit dedicated to improving digital access in schools, 72 percent of public schools—in the country, suburbs and cities—do not have adequate broadband speeds to fully access the Internet,” The Rural Blog reports. (Read more about the report here).
Considering that schools in Appalachia have made a move toward utilizing more and more technology in lessons, including Smart Boards and tablets, those statistics are not good.
A strong education system in Appalachia will be essential to making an economic renewal thrive well into the future. After all, we aren’t creating this new economy for ourselves; we are creating it for our children. And one aspect of creating a stronger education system for the future is technology, which requires high-speed broadband to properly function.
We should make sure broadband Internet is not only being extended to the home, but into the classrooms of Appalachia as well. Our kids deserve the very best, and the very best Internet at this time is high-speed broadband.