Arizona Broadband Initiative
The Need for Broadband
Currently, only 23% of Arizona school districts meet national affordability benchmarks for broadband access. Furthermore, many schools in the state’s most rural areas cannot access Internet that is fast enough to support digital learning and many other technological opportunities for students that are commonplace within urban centers.
In addition to those untapped student resources, Arizona has created and made available a bevy of free or inexpensive online tools for teachers. These tools can be used for classroom instruction as well as for professional development and are not currently being utilized in many underserved areas across the state. Oftentimes, service providers struggle to make a high enough return on investment to dedicate resources and build infrastructure out to the most remote schools.
Arizona’s vision is for schools statewide to have scalable, affordable and reliable Internet access. With access to high-speed broadband, students can take remote classes and receive digital learning opportunities that they never knew existed. Educators will be able to dramatically enhance their professional development capabilities and communities will be transformed by the cultural and economic benefits of simply being connected to the Internet.