News

10Mb broadband speed needed per school child

A report from the United States has recommended that broadband speeds in schools should equate to 10Mbps (megabytes per second) per person on average.

This figure, published in the The Broadband Imperative, is necessary to keep up with the growing demand for web-based instruction, as well as to cope with the proliferation of bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives, pcadvisor.co.uk reports.

To stream high-definition video for example, each student requires a minimum of 4Mbps, the report said. However, for more demanding activities, such as video conferencing, students will need speeds of at least 8Mbps – doubling that.

The suggestions come at a time where students and teachers alike expect to have access to the latest technologies for teaching.

As Andrew Zuckerman, director of instructional services at Lawrence Township Public Schools in New Jersey, puts it: “We can no longer use 20th-century skills to teach 21st-century learners.”

As well as bandwidth-heavy applications like video conferencing, software that enables collaboration and sharing is another major focus which helped the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) form their conclusions.

Arnnet.com.au writes that SETDA, which represents state education agencies, will lobby for speeds of 100Mbps per 1,000 students by the 2014-15 school year, later rising to 10Gbps (gigabytes per second) by 2017-18.