Menu
Survey: US voters willing to pay more for faster school broadband

Survey: US voters willing to pay more for faster school broadband

About seven in 10 voters would agree to a $4-a-year fee on their mobile phone service, a survey says

Nearly seven in 10 U.S. voters would pay a higher tax on their mobile phone bills if the money went toward wiring schools with faster broadband networks, according to a new survey.

Eighty-three percent of U.S. voters would support efforts to bring higher-speed broadband to schools, while 69 percent would still support it if it meant a US$4-a-year fee on mobile service, according to the study, released by the Leading Education by Advancing Digital [LEAD] Commission, a technology-in-education advocacy group.

Eighty-six percent of Democratic voters, 62 percent of independents and 57 percent of Republicans said they would support a mobile service fee that helps deliver technology to schools, according to the survey.

The survey, of 800 U.S. voters in early January, found that 52 percent of respondents gave a C grade or below to the current state of technology in U.S. public schools. Only 29 percent gave an A or B to the job schools do to prepare students for 21st century jobs.

The survey seems to suggest that voters are concerned about schools lagging in technology education, said Joel Benenson, president of Benenson Strategy Group, the company that conducted the survey.

"Americans don't see it just as an education issue," he said. "They see this advance in technology as an economic issue. We see a very high level of voters who are concerned that we're not doing enough to train the next generation of innovators."

Eighty-four percent of those surveyed agreed that investing in high-speed Internet for public schools was necessary to develop the next generation of innovative leaders in the U.S. Eighty-eight percent agreed that high-speed Internet improves the quality of education that every child gets.

While most U.S. schools have broadband, about two-thirds don't have adequate service for their needs, said Jim Steyer, a member of the LEAD Commission and CEO of Common Sense Media. A new push for better broadband should also include teacher training, devices for students and new course content, he said.

A new push for better broadband in schools wouldn't need to involve Congress, but instead would require a revamp of the E-Rate program controlled by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Steyer said. "We don't have to go through the disaster that is Congress right now," he said.

Earlier this month, the FCC took the first step toward reform of E-Rate, a program created in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to help wire schools and libraries. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the agency plans to release new money for the E-Rate program in an effort to bring higher-speed broadband to schools and libraries.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentbroadbandregulationinterneteducationtelecommunicationindustry verticalsU.S. Federal Communications CommissionCommon Sense MediaTom WheelerJoel BenensonLeading Education by Advancing Digital CommissionJim SteyerBenenson Strategy Group

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments