As schools made the decision to implement remote or hybrid learning for the 2020-2021 school year, it became apparent that schools needed additional technology resources to continue to conduct learning. To help support school districts, BroadbandOhio did two things:
First, they released a Request for Information (RFI) through the Department of Administrative Services to the telecommunications industry to create a transparent price list that school districts could use to make informed decisions about what vendors and products might work best for them
- 36 different companies responded with information on pricing for everything from HDMI cables to hotspots
Second, BroadbandOhio partnered with the Ohio Department of Education to provide $50 million through the BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant using CARES Act funds. School districts applied for funding to purchase connectivity devices to make remote learning more accessible to students who did not have broadband access in their homes.
- Over 900 school districts received funding
- Every applicant school district received some funding
- Some schools used these funds to not only provide devices, but also to leverage other resources to expand public wi-fi access in their local communities