ERIC Number: ED565437
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Broadband Access and Implications for Efforts to Address Equity Gaps in Postsecondary Attainment
Sisneros, Lauren; Sponsler, Brian A.
Education Commission of the States
This education trends report focuses on two related but distinct challenges confronting state policy leaders and students as they seek to leverage online distance education to meet personal and statewide education goals: (1) access to the infrastructure necessary to provide industry-standard broadband speeds and (2) ensuring availability of the financial resources necessary to support adoption of broadband where it is available. Offered as a resource for state-level policymakers seeking to connect disparate conversations about broadband access, postsecondary attainment and equity concerns related to both, this report unfolds as follows: First, the report spotlights the challenge of inadequate access to industry-standard broadband speeds confronting many households and individuals. What is overwhelmingly evident is a physical infrastructure problem--certain communities simply do not have the ability, regardless of desire or the availability of financial resources, to access broadband at industry standard speeds; the information superhighway has not been constructed in these communities. Second, this report overviews a related but distinct challenge, whereby individuals reside in communities where the necessary broadband infrastructure is in place, but financial and/or other barriers are limiting adoption or use. In essence, the information highway has been constructed but certain segments of the population lack the means to drive on it. Finally, the report concludes with a set of key questions that state higher education policymakers can consider as they seek to expand the use of online distance education as a means of increasing educational access and supporting student success.
Descriptors: Online Courses, Distance Education, Internet, Telecommunications, Information Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Barriers, Costs, Access to Education, Postsecondary Education, Higher Education, State Policy, Public Policy
Education Commission of the States. ECS Distribution Center, 700 Broadway Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203-3460. Tel: 303-299-3692; Fax: 303-296-8332; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.ecs.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States