El Paso, Texas (NAPSI) - As people who care about education have learned, there’s a good reason teachers are increasingly replacing textbooks with technology and seeking out training to keep up with technology trends.

Consider these facts and figures:

• According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 97 percent of classrooms have one or more computers and 93 percent of those computers have access to the Internet.

• What’s more, some 1.5 million iPads are in use in education settings and that number is constantly growing.

• The small, rural broadband providers of NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association supply some form of broadband service to 96 percent of K through 12 schools in their service areas and 98 percent of public libraries.

• Approximately 75 percent of rural schools receive broadband services through fiber while others use copper (17 percent) and fixed wireless (1 percent). Similarly, nearly 47 percent of public libraries are connected via fiber and several others use copper (38 percent).

• NTCA recently surveyed its members to see which services they were providing to anchor institutions in their communities and found schools are taking an average maximum speed of 435 Mbps down and 62 Mbps up and libraries selected an average of 296 Mbps down and 47 Mbps up.

That is to say, community-based providers offer significant speeds to rural schools and libraries, generally all the speeds they need and more. Rural broadband providers help millions of teachers and their students in the most sparsely populated areas of the country benefit from and share in the prosperity that modern telecommunications technology can bring.

Experts Explain

“NTCA members and other small, rural providers understand the importance of these anchor institutions having access to high-quality broadband service,” said economist Rick Schadelbauer. “Because of the extraordinary efforts made by rural broadband providers, the communities they serve can be more vibrant places to live, work, raise a family and educate children.”

Explains NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield, “Broadband providers play an important role in the success of rural students, thanks to the ongoing support of federal programs like the Universal Service Fund—created to help consumers across the country, especially low-income customers and those in high—cost rural communities, receive affordable telecommunications services-and other loan and grant programs that invest in rural infrastructure.”

Learn More

For further facts about broadband, go to www.ntca.org.