Broadband for Washington State
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Broadband for Washington State

Without high-speed access to global information and services, distance education, cutting edge medical services and the marketable visibility of Web presence, remote communities cannot thrive.  These communities will continue to experience the economic and social attrition inevitable when connectivity with a wider world remains absent.

Broadband Recommendations

To reach the goal of sufficient broadband access for enhanced K-12 teaching and learning, OSPI recommends the minimum bandwidth targets originally developed by the State Educational Technology Director’s Association (SETDA) and adopted by the FCC:

Broadband Access for Teaching, Learning and School Operations

2014-15 School Year Target

2017-18 School Year Target

An external Internet connection to the Internet Service Provider {ISP}

At least 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff

At least 1 Gbps per 1,000 students/staff

Internal wide area network {WAN} connections from the district to each school and among schools within the district

At least 1 Gbps per 1,000 students/staff

At least 10 Gbps per 1,000 students/staff

The Case for Broadband

Five Powerful Reasons for Broadband Connectivity Across Washington State

  1. Students connect with native and foreign language speakers to expand language skills. Language proficiency is the first step to academic enrichment and achievement.
  2. Student data needs the transport capacity of broadband. Current, high quality data informs the way teachers and principals shape educational programming. Learning that meets the needs of all students can mean the difference between a life lost to illiteracy and transience, and a life of equality and high expectations for success.
  3. Off-site special education services and training reach teachers and kids in multiple online formats.
  4. Recruitment and retention of AP instructors and highly qualified math and science teachers becomes possible. Schools eliminate the limits of on-site programs and professional development.
  5. Educational outreach that connects families and community to school life is not bound by immediate proximity. Parents, guardians and community members can take an active role in education.

High-speed broadband connectivity is a way to bring the latest and best instructional and assessment practices to thousands of students who must grow up to compete in a 21st century society.

Online content delivers a multi-modal way to extend the teacher. The immediacy of Web presence possible through video conference, email dialogue and interactive webinar introduces different perspectives on life and culture. These learning experiences achieve relevancy— the struggles, limits and potentials of problem solving in the real world move theory into practice for young learners.

Washington’s progressive move to online testing demands broadband-level connectivity. Powerful online assessments systems return test scores quickly and provide greater diagnostic information about student strengths and weaknesses. Slow, unreliable connectivity at the classroom level prevents this important state initiative from moving forward.

Broadband builds equity into the learning environment. Broadband will make it possible to reach and teach every student. Online learning is fast becoming a fundamental modality for K-12 education but it depends on high-speed connection and enough bandwidth to handle many concurrent users.

In Washington, thousands of students are penalized for where they live. Typically, areas with low population densities, towns located a distance from a major transportation corridor and communities in mountainous and heavily forested terrain are least and last served by the reach and power of broadband. Without this lifeline to a larger world, kids face limits on scholarship, achievement and personal growth.




quoteWhile the internet can be a powerful equalizer for small, rural, communities, lack of adequate broadband access for homes, businesses, and support organizations continues to deepen the digital and economic divide.quote

Additional Information

The Broadband Imperative, SETDA

Annual Reports on Broadband in Washington State

Contact Us
Dennis Small,
(360) 725-6384

   Updated 12/2/2015

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  360-725-6000  TTY 360-664-3631
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