Governor Walker announces Alaska K-12 Broadband Initiative - P.O.W. Report

Monday, May 14, 2018

Governor Walker announces Alaska K-12 Broadband Initiative

Alaska partners with EducationSuperHighway to expand high-speed internet for schools

MAY 10, 2018 JUNEAU – Alaska will partner with national non-profit EducationSuperHighway to work on bringing high-speed broadband to schools across Alaska.

Reliable access to the internet is a critical component of modern learning, but almost 120 schools in Alaska don’t have modern fiber networks. Close to half of Alaska students can’t access the internet at levels which meet FCC minimum connectivity goals.

For more than a year, the Department of Education and Early Development has been working with Alaska parents, students, educators, tribal leaders, municipalities, and education organizations to rethink our school system through the framework of Alaska’s Education Challenge. Those stakeholders agree modernizing Alaska’s schools is a critical element to increase student success, support responsible and reflective learners, and cultivate student safety and well-being. The Alaska K-12 Broadband Initiative is a key component of providing an equitable education to young Alaskans.

EducationSuperHighway will work with the Department to do a comprehensive assessment of K-12 connectivity across Alaska’s classrooms. They’ll identify schools without sufficient broadband bandwidth and infrastructure, and provide technical and project management resources to help schools upgrade.

“The internet is the electricity of the 21st century, and a quality education requires connectivity. The K-12 Broadband Initiative will help us achieve our goal of ensuring every Alaska school has the access they need to provide our students with the education they deserve,” Governor Bill Walker

EducationSuperHighway is currently working in 24 other states, and is funded by private foundations including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Ford Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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