Growing Push to Ensure AR Students Have Broadband Access

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas can provide needed high-speed internet for rural schools by switching from copper to fiber optic cables.

That's the message from a non-profit partnering with the state to increase access to broadband across the state.

Lawmakers today getting their first chance to find out more about the agreement reached earlier this week.

Experts say increased broadband has more applications than just online testing.

"If you're a student in rural Arkansas and don't have an AP science teacher, you can take that AP course. If you want to learn how to code for today's economy, which everyone should learn how to do, you can do that online," says Even Marwell.

Governor Mike Beebe said earlier this week the state spends $15 million a year laying copper wire to connect rural schools.

And the switch to fiber optics can happen without much more state spending.

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