Many indications show that districts are not prepared for the volume and size of traffic on their networks. District leaders are wrestling with these issues that may limit good learning opportunities for students, such as video streaming. CoSN works to highlight the issues of broadband needs, propose solutions, and provide leaders with the resources that they need to address these challenges.  

The broadband effort highlights the issues of broadband needs and high bandwidth capability in schools. Not surprisingly, there have been many indications that districts are not prepared for the volume of traffic and sheer size of some of that traffic on their networks. Many are wrestling with this every day with a variety of sometimes blunt instruments (aggressive filters, policies, etc.) that may be limiting potentially good learning opportunities for students such as video streaming.

The survey done by The Greaves Group and The Hayes Connection, America's Digital Schools 2006, identified a "Bandwidth Crisis" after having several hundred CTOs calculate their likely bandwidth needs over the next five years. It turns out that most are unprepared by several orders of magnitude. Additionally, there have been a number of reports and comparisons done over the last couple of years that have looked at the issue across countries. Generally speaking, the U.S. does not compare favorably with other first-tier countries - particularly given our belief about ourselves as technologically advanced.

Recommended Online Broadband Tools

School 2.0 Bandwidth Calculator
The Bandwidth Planner was created by the U.S. Department of Education and aims to help school principals and district CTOs plan their bandwidth needs, demystify bandwidth for non-technical educators, and bridge the knowledge gap between educators and IT personnel.

Bandwidth Speed Test
This tool compares and contrasts the use of Internet, cell phones, and broadband to provide you with your bandwidth speed. 

CNET Bandwidth Meter Online Speed Test
This test calculates the current throughput you can get on your Internet connection. 

Speednet TCP/IP Analyzer
The TCP Optimizer is a free, easy Windows program that provides an intuitive interface for tuning and optimizing your Internet connection.

DSLreports: Line Quality Testing 
If you are having trouble with your broadband connection and it relates to packet loss, excessive latency, or internet or ISP congestion, this test may help find the cause.