In 2013, only 4 million students had access to broadband that provided internet fast enough to allow for digital learning in the classroom. By 2017, that number has risen to 39.2 million, but the movement to close the connectivity gap between students and technology to assist in digital learning is far from over. According to a report by EducationSuperHighway, it is important for state and federal leaders, school districts, and service providers to work to close the connectivity gap, which still spans 6.5 million students. This report emphasizes the fact that continued action is necessary to ensure the remaining students receive access. Those students largely hail from the 1,587 rural schools that don't yet have the infrastructure necessary, the report notes. Some of the findings from the report state that some of the specific steps necessary in order to reach the goal of increasing access to digital learning for students include setting connectivity goals, engaging service providers, establishing state matching funds, making broadband affordable, and providing technical assistance when needed.
EducationSuperhighway (2017). 2017 State of the states: Fulfilling our promise to America’s students. San Francisco, CA: EducationSuperhighway. https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/esh-sots-pdfs/educationsuperhighway_2017_state_of_the_states.pdf