Homework on a tablet

Wyoming schools are way ahead of most of the nation’s, at least when it comes to internet access.

According to a new study from Connect K-12, a website that studies internet access in schools, 72% of Wyoming’s schools have broadband capabilities of more than 1 megabit per student, the goal set by the Federal Communications Commission. That’s well ahead of the nation as a whole, in which just 47% of schools have such broadband access.

“Over many years, Wyoming’s robust educational network has grown an infrastructure that goes beyond federal standards for student connectivity,” Gov. Mark Gordon said in a statement.

In the past few years, broadband access has quickly increased across the state. In 2016, 31% of school districts were above the FCC’s desired threshold of 1 megabit per student, though at the time just 14% of U.S. school districts were there.

In five years, the number of districts in Wyoming with broadband capabilities has more than doubled, and it has tripled across the country.

“When you compare Wyoming’s school district connectivity between 2016 and 2020, the progress is incredible,” Connect K-12 Vice President Emily Jordan said in a press release. “The state is a model of success that other education leaders across the country can look to and learn from as an example of what can be done to better connect their schools.”

Teton County School District No. 1 is one of the districts that has reached the FCC goal, and it is one of 25 districts that uses funds through the federal E-rate program, which provides money to connect libraries and students to internet access.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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