Online Training and Broadband Limitations

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The future success of online training is directly tied to the availability of broadband Internet access, and the availability is not fully “there” yet.  Slate magazine looked at this issue in an interesting article titled “A Failling Grade for Broadband” (April 17, 2013), and it include this quote:

In 2011, the public schools in Fairfax County, Va., an affluent district outside Washington, D.C., introduced an e-textbook program to replace printed textbooks. But the books worked only when students were online, and some features required high-speed Internet access. Ultimately, the district had to purchase an additional $2 million worth of textbooks to support students who did not have adequate access to use the electronic versions at home.

The expansion of high-speed Internet access must be driven by demand, and clearly online training and education is a major driving force in that demand.  For now, online educators must allow for the fact that student access to online delivery may be limited, and plan accordingly.  The future is clearly online.  But for now, we’re still living in the present, and the distribution of broadband – while growing rapidly – is not yet fully realized.


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