South Dakota increases bandwidth to over 150 schools

In partnership with the South Dakota Department of Education (DOE), the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) will work throughout the summer to increase bandwidth to 159 school sites across the state, impacting 122 school districts.

“We continue to see a trend of K-12 bandwidth doubling every 2-3 years. This increase in service corresponds directly with that trend,” stated Pat Snow telecommunications manager. “We are proud to assist with this project upgrade as this is a great improvement; allowing educators to continue enhancing educational services through the Internet.”

The bare minimum of Internet bandwidth is 10 Mbps, or megabits per second. Funding was approved and appropriated to DOE this past legislative session to increase the bandwidth minimum to 50 Mbps where available across the state. The upgrade allows for additional capacity to provide education-related services via the Internet; through online applications and assessments, distance learning and allows schools to do so without delay.

The project is currently in its implementation phase and is expected to be completed prior to the 2013-2014 school year.

“In today’s classrooms, teachers incorporate technology on a daily basis as part of the learning process, and they need to be confident that the technology will work,” concluded Secretary of Education Melody Schopp. “This bandwidth initiative will help to ensure that we have the infrastructure in place to support learning.”

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