Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Colorado broadband grant to help rural schools

Colorado was among the states receiving stimulus package funding for broadband investment, and the state's award will be used in part to help rural schools. The $100.6 million federal grant, combined with $34.7 million in matching funding, will "cover the cost of laying optical fiber and copper cable and the addition of microwave switching stations that will bring fast Internet connections to rural outposts," Jeremy P. Meyer of The Denver Post reports. "We have an elementary school that has less bandwidth than a well-connected house in Denver," John Dudley, board member for Ault-Highland RE-9 School District in northeast Colorado. "So this is huge."

"Many rural schools that have labored with slow Internet will have access to the speediest broadband available, allowing students from their classrooms to control electron microscopes in North Dakota, learn astronomy in the daylight hours by looking through a telescope in Australia or map the ocean floor with scientists on submarines," Meyer writes. The grant application was led by Colorado's Centennial Board of Cooperative Education Services and was the third-largest broadband grant awarded. (Read more)

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