General

Last night, President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union Address. One highlight from his speech was a renewed pledge to connect every school in America with high-speed Internet. As Kevin Fitchard of GigaOm reports:

Last year, Obama announced a program to extend broadband access to 99 percent of schools over four years, and on Tuesday he said the administration is working with the Federal Communications Commission, Verizon, Sprint, Apple and Microsoft to fund such a project. According to the White House, details of these “philanthropic partnerships” will be released in coming weeks and will help connect 15,000 schools and 20 million students with wireless and wireline broadband in the next two years.

The Hill‘s Julian Hattem has more:

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the commission has made a point to make the program as efficient as possible.

“By applying business-like management practices to E-Rate, we can take steps this year that will make existing funds go farther to significantly increase our investment in high-speed broadband connectivity for schools and libraries for the benefit of our students and teachers,” he said in a statement after Obama’s remarks.

“In the Internet age, every student in America should have access to state-of-the-art educational tools, which are increasingly interactive, individualized and bandwidth-intensive,” Wheeler added.