Connectivity

Nonprofit Releases Tool for Districts to Compare Broadband Prices, Speeds, Bandwidth

EducationSuperHighway, a San Francisco-based ed tech nonprofit, has launched the full version of its Compare & Connect K–12, an online tool that helps school district technology directors and superintendents view and compare broadband services and bandwidth information for school districts across the country.

Compare & Connect K–12 aims to empower school leaders toward making smart network purchasing decisions and get the most bandwidth for their broadband budgets by making K–12 broadband speeds and pricing across the country and locally easily available. State leaders may also quickly pinpoint which of their districts are in most need of help, according to EducationSuperHighway’s website.

The improved Compare & Connect K–12 is also a resource for service providers, who are critical to finishing the job of upgrading America’s K–12 schools. Service providers can use the tool to identify school districts inside and outside of their service areas that need upgrades.

The beta version of Compare & Connect K–12 was launched in January 2016. After asking users for feedback, EducationSuperHighway added the following new features that increase the tool’s power and ease of use:

Revamped comparison tools using maps and filters that allow school districts to view how their broadband services and prices equate to those of neighboring school districts, as well as other school districts across the state;

Interactive state maps that provide state leaders with a comprehensive resource to search and compare connectivity across school districts — giving them the knowledge they need to ensure their school districts are meeting high-speed connectivity requirements and to bring access to school districts that have fallen behind;

Directory of service providers that allows school districts to find service providers that are offering better deals in their states and negotiate for more bandwidth; and

Direct links to RFPs (E-rate form 470), allowing school districts to attract more competitive bids for service.

EducationSuperHighway states on its website that since January, school districts have used the Compare & Connect K–12 tool and data to significantly increase their bandwidth for little to no additional cost.

To access the tool, go to compareandconnectk12.org and type in the name of a school district or state to get started. For more information about EducationSuperHighway, visit the company’s website.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at rchang@1105media.com.

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