McCrory asks FCC for classroom Wi-Fi funding

06/12/2014 10:21 AM

06/12/2014 10:22 AM

Gov. Pat McCrory asked the Federal Communications Commission for funds to help North Carolina provide Wi-Fi access for all North Carolina classrooms.

Last June, President Barack Obama, during a visit to Mooresville, announced a plan to get high-speed Internet into every K-12 classroom nationwide, called the ConnectED Initiative. The FCC updated its E-Rate program, the government’s education technology program, to put more funding into high-speed broadband for schools and libraries, in part by using money that once went to outdated things like paging services.

“If we are to produce the workforce in high-demand fields, we must equip our classrooms with high speed Internet,” McCrory said on Wednesday during his trip to Washington, adding that broadband was as basic a need in schools as water and electricity.

McCrory and State Chief Information Officer Chris Estes asked the FCC to designate E-Rate funding for North Carolina. The state is a leader in providing broadband to schools. But Estes pointed out that schools need more capacity today in order to provide individualized digital learning.

A North Carolina law, signed by McCrory, calls for a transition from textbooks to digital learning by 2017.

When the White House announced its school Internet initiative last year, it said that the average American school has the same connectivity as the average home, but serves 200 times as many users, and that fewer than 20 percent of educators said their school’s Internet connection meets their teaching needs.

Under the Dome logo

Under the Dome

Under the Dome is your inside source on North Carolina politics and government and has been a regular feature in The N&O since 1934. Check here for the latest on state and federal government, political advocacy and upcoming elections. This blog is maintained by the N&O politics staff.

Join the Discussion

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service