- A new cost analysis by the Consortium for School Networking and the EducationSuperHighway estimates it will cost $3.2 billion to achieve President Barack Obama's vision of providing WiFi access to 99% of K-12 schools by 2018.
- Obama announced the goal in 2013, arguing that the initiative should be paid for by the Federal Communications Commission's E-Rate program.
- The cost analysis was delivered to the FCC Wednesday and also highlights the somewhat abysmal state of WiFi in schools, saying that 40% of classrooms report having zero access to wireless Internet.
The FCC's E-Rate program, which is funded by phone bill surcharges, already spends $2.4 billion each year on schools and libraries across the nation. This new estimate, however, shows that the FCC still has a long way to go. According to the estimate plan, the $3.2 billion would need to be spent over four years, resulting in the FCC spending an additional $800 million a year.