NTCA: Rural schools doing OK when it comes to broadband

The digital divide isn't overwhelming rural schools and libraries, according to the NTCA-the Rural Broadband Association's "Schools and Libraries Survey."

Nearly all survey respondents (96 percent of K-12 schools and 98 percent of public libraries) said they are getting "some form of broadband services" and about 75 percent of schools get fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP), an NTCA press release stated.

On the downside, 17 percent of schools are connected by copper and 5 percent have fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) connectivity. Libraries came in with lower numbers for fiber (47 percent) and higher numbers for copper (38 percent), with the remaining 13 percent connected via FTTN.

NTCA members that are feeding the facilities offer average maximum speeds of 435 Mbps downstream and 62 Mbps up to schools while libraries get 296 Mbps down and 47 Mbps up. On average, schools get broadband speeds of 65 Mbps down and 14 up while libraries take lesser 17/2 Mbps plans.

"The results of this survey (conducted in June 2014 among 124 NTCA member companies representing 34 states and 151 operating companies) are a clear indication that NTCA members and other small, rural providers understand the importance of these anchor institutions having high quality broadband service," NTCA economist Rick Schadelbauer said in the press release. "Our members have proven time and time again that they not only are interested in providing these services but that they are already doing a tremendous job of connecting their communities to enhance economic success."

For more:
- NTCA has this press release

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