Five new school districts in Missouri will be connected to fast, reliable broadband internet services by Bluebird Network this school year, giving students and faculty access to a growing wealth of online educational resources and digital learning opportunities. Bluebird has become the second largest broadband provider to public schools in the state of Missouri, serving more than 92,000 students across 76 school districts.
The company’s rapidly expanding network includes customer-facing 100G circuits, which were recently installed to improve the speed and efficiency of service delivery, and in the future, Bluebird has plans to serve rural and metropolitan customers with a 400G network.
America continues to grapple with a deep divide in quality of internet access between urban and rural populations, with the FCC’s 2018 Broadband Deployment Report noting that broadband deployment in rural areas lags behind that in urban areas for both mobile and fixed terrestrial services. Less than half of Missouri’s rural population (49.5 percent) has access to a fixed connection that meets the FCC’s speed benchmark of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.
High-speed connectivity has become necessary for schools to provide students with a modern education. Working with school districts eligible for funding through the non-profit Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) as an e-rate approved vendor has allowed Bluebird to expand affordable high-speed connectivity to thousands of students, improving the quality of their educational experience, as well as the equality of opportunity with students in urban school districts. Bluebird also works directly with school districts not eligible for e-rate support, and provides high-speed fiber optic services to healthcare facilities, mobile switching towers and enterprise and carrier customers across the Midwest, in addition to schools.
As it has gained in experience from connecting school districts throughout Missouri, Bluebird has become an expert at meeting the unique infrastructure, demand, timeline, and economic needs of school boards. The combination of network expansion and community service is a point of pride within Bluebird, and the company plans to continue connecting America’s schools with fast, reliable internet access.