White House pushes for expanding Internet access in schools

The White House announced an initiative on Thursday to expand high-speed broadband Internet access to virtually every school in the country.  The program is expected to cost several billion dollars, according to a senior administration official.  The White House argues that the expanded Internet access will provide teachers with more tools, make learning more engaging and better prepare students for 21st century jobs.  President Obama will push for the proposal at a middle school in Mooresville, N.C., on Thursday.

The plan does not require congressional approval. Instead, the White House is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to expand E-Rate, an existing program that subsidizes Internet access in schools and libraries.  E-Rate is funded through fees on monthly telephone bills. White House officials said they expect the president’s plan would add no more than 40 cents to every phone bill per month for the next few years.

The proposal would be a one-time investment with the goal of providing schools with Internet connections of one gigabit per second—about 100 times faster than the average home broadband connection.  The White House expects 99 percent of students to have access to at least a 100-megabit-per-second connection within five years.

Read the entire article, posted by Brendan Sasso on Hillicon Valley, the technology blog of The Hill, at

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