High Speed Upgrade for AR Schools

Published 08/12 2014 06:04PM

Updated 08/12 2014 06:07PM

LITTLE ROCK, AR - There's a growing push to get standardized tests online and the state wants to make sure all students have equal access to broadband.

The House and Senate Education Committee is hearing details of a new partnership from the state and a high-tech non-profit.

The group, Education-Superhighway, says if the state merely switches from copper to fiber optic lines, it can improve connectivity without really spending a lot more.

The state spends roughly $15 million a year laying copper wire for high-speed internet.

The CEO says the switch is about giving every student equal access to be competitive.

"If you're a student in rural Arkansas and don't have an AP science teacher, you can take that AP course. If you want to learn how to code for today's economy, which everyone should learn how to do, you can do that online," says Evan Marwell with Education Superhighway.

And Marwell adds the good news is the state and school districts have already made a financial commitment to make connectivity possible.

He adds, Arkansas, with 51% of schools having enough bandwidth, it's ahead of the national average of just 37%.

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