The State of Internet Connectivity in Minnesota’s K-12 Schools
Friday, July 13, 2018
96 percent of Minnesota school districts had access to high-speed Internet in their classrooms. Here’s what’s left to do.
Ninety-six percent of Minnesota school districts had access to high-speed Internet in their classrooms in 2017. This year, thanks to federal and state funding and local partnerships, we may see every school district in Minnesota on a scalable fiber connection to support K-12 education.
The Minnesota Legislature established goals to help Minnesotans improve the availability and use of broadband services in 2010. Shortly after, the Office of Broadband Development was created to “connect communities, policy-makers, providers, regional support organizations, and state and federal programs with each other and the resources they need to improve broadband access and use in Minnesota.” Two years ago, the Office of the Governor, Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and the national non-profit EducationSuperHighway partnered to advance broadband upgrades for schools statewide. Through the Minnesota K-12 Connect Forward Initiative, school districts and charter schools receive free tools and resources to get scalable infrastructure, sufficient bandwidth, and robust Wi-Fi connectivity to their classrooms.