A new report finds the Cowboy State is a national leader in classroom internet connectivity. Wyoming is one of just two states to earn a 100 percent connectivity rating in this month’s report from the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway.
That means each of Wyoming’s 48 school districts provides 100 kilobits of broadband per student, which is a goal set by the Federal Communications Commission last year.
“On average, for the nation, only 77 percent of school districts were actually meeting the goal,” says Education SuperHighway CEO Evan Marwell. “So, an incredible accomplishment, and I think the Governor and the state deserve a ton of credit for this. Frankly, it was one of the unexpected surprises in the work. Wyoming being as rural a state as it is, we figured Wyoming would be much lower down on the list.
The state's new 100-gigabit Unified Network connects schools and state offices to high-speed internet.
The report also notes that 83 percent of schools in the state meet bandwidth targets and just one-third of school districts have claimed federal broadband subsidies.
The report notes that the typical Wyoming school will need to triple its bandwidth over the next few years.
“Getting to that 100 kilobits per student goal is not the end,” says Marwell. “It’s the minimum threshold. Once technology gets into the classroom, the demand for broadband tends to grow 50 percent or more a year. So, Wyoming’s going to have to keep adding to the amount of bandwidth that their schools have to keep up with that demand.”