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How Fast Does Your Internet Go?

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On today’s show, Maggie Rulli visited a school dealing with a pretty common problem – slow internet connections.

More than 70% of schools in the United States don’t have enough internet access to get all of their students online. And while five or ten years ago, it might not have seemed like that big of a deal, today, with the growth of sites that can help you learn online —  things like MOOCs, Khan Academy, online testing, it’s pretty crucial. And full-disclosure — faster internet can also help you watch the videos you find on our site.

But how much internet do you need? According to the FCC, you need around 3 Mbps (megabits per second) for video, and closer to 4 Mbps for HD or longer lectures from colleges. National guidelines suggest that schools should have a minimum of 100 Mbps for every 1,000 people at the school. An average class might need about 50 Mbps.

President Obama has set a goal to get 99 percent of school connected to high-speed internet, or broadband, within five years. The President wants to stay competitive – South Korea has 100 percent access, Finland and Singapore are set to be at 100% by the end of the year, but the United States? We’re at about 28%.

Those stats aren’t completely different from the United States’ global education ranking. We’re at 17, while South Korea, Finland and Singapore are all in the top five.

So what’s to be done? First, find out where your school stands. Check your speed at SpeedTest.net (but be cautious — the site has a bunch of ads that might look like content) or at SchoolSpeedTest.org.

What do you think about the issue? Do you think slow internet is slowing you down? Tell us in the comments.

5 comments on “How Fast Does Your Internet Go?

  1. Jan carlos R

    I agree that the internet is slow, the president should help all the schools in America to increase the speed of schools connectivity, by sending more updated computers…We can do it, and yes we can United States of America!!!

    Reply
  2. katelyn hebert

    We should have high speed internet because, children have potential when it comes to using the computer so why would we want to spend it wanting for something to load. In some places they can have their inter report done and have time to get started on the next one. United States schools have it were you can do everything else before you would have your report are that super cool game you want to show you class. Also teachers have the hardest time when trying to get their work done most teachers don’t leave school in till 5:00. And I think they should be able to do what they want to do so they can go to their second life at home. This is why I think schools should have high speed internet.

    Reply

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