Group pitches for school access to high-speed Internet | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Group pitches for school access to high-speed Internet

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 11:34 AM

click to enlarge faster.png
A coalition of business and education groups is pressing for high-speed broadband access for all schools and using an existing state infrastructure to do it.

The problem: A 2011 law aimed at protecting telecommunications companies prohibits a government entity from providing broadband service to schools. Of the 42 states that have Internet infrastructure that connects to Internet2, Arkansas is the only state that prohibits K-12 schools from using it, says FASTERArkansas. It has more information here.

The release today signals the political fight shaping up for 2015. From FASTERArkansas:



 Arkansas ranks near the bottom in high-speed Internet access and digital learning. A coalition of business; education leaders statewide formed FASTERArkansas at the request of Gov. Mike Beebe. The coalition believes affordable access to high-speed broadband is the key to success in the 21st century. It allows us to communicate more effectively, provides better access to public safety, and health care. It is a driver of economic opportunities and most importantly it allows us to learn.

”Arkansas already has a network in place that will allow us to create jobs, reduce costs for schools, increase competition, and provide the content essential for students to be globally competitive if K-12 schools can use it.” Jerry Jones, Chair, FASTERArkansas and Executive Vice President, Acxiom said.
Arkansas already has a taxpayer-funded infrastructure (ARE-ON) in place that could provide K-12 schools with the access to high-speed Internet it needs, but is currently not permitted by law from using it (Act 1050 of 2011). Of the 42 states that have such an Internet infrastructure that connects to Internet2, Arkansas is the only state that prohibits K-12 schools from using it.

Dr. Richard Abernathy, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators and FASTERArkansas advocate says, “Affordable high-speed Internet is the difference between providing the great equalizer for rural and low-income students or increasing the great divide.”

Kathy Smith, Vice-Chair, FASTERArkansas and Senior Program Officer, The Walton Family Foundation states, “Lack of access to affordable high-speed Internet for schools means many children are not receiving the 21st century education they will need to succeed in the future or compete with students from across the country.”


Tags: , , ,


Favorite

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • UA Athletic Department gets approval for more construction

    KNWA reports on University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approval today of roughly $50 million worth of athletic department construction projects on the Fayetteville campus.
    • Nov 15, 2018
  • Kurrus says he'd take control of police chief selection process

    Baker Kurrus, in the runoff with Frank Scott Jr. for Little Rock mayor, is trying to establish himself as an agent of change and he illustrated one obvious point today: When it comes to choosing a new police chief, he sees the mayor, not the city manager, as the leader of that process.
    • Nov 15, 2018
  • Asa's tax cuts heavily favor the rich

    Numbers don't lie. Check out the latest analysis by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families on winners and losers under Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to cut income taxes by more than $200 million over four years, primarily by a whopping reduction of 15 percent in the top marginal tax rate, from 6.9 to 5.9 percent.
    • Nov 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Slideshows

  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation