It is accepted in economic development and public policy circles that a strong K-12 education system attracts and retains businesses, while contributing some of the local workforce. What may be less understood is how to maximize broadband networks to drive the economic outcomes that education promises.
EducationSuperHighway is a nonprofit that provides services, staff and public policy advocacy to help schools maximize their use of broadband and lower the technology's cost. Of particular significance is the organization's efforts to help reform the $2.5 billion FCC eRate program that funds schools' broadband networks nationwide.
Evan Marwell, CEO and Founder of EducationSuperHighway, describes his team's unique approach, current successes and future plans. He also discusses some of the complex processes necessary to leverage broadband and education technologies to influence economic outcomes including funding. A recent survey of economic development professionals reveals that 40% value eRate, but another 45% feel the program is hard to implement even though it ultimately benefits schools.