Weekly Wrap-Up, January 16, 2015

An audit of schools in Idaho shows that more than half of the surveyed schools are not using purchased equipment. Jon Brodkin reports that Representative Bob Latta (R-Ohio) filed bipartisan legislation this week that would prevent the FCC from applying common carrier rules to ISPs.

New data reveals the disparity in Minnesota residents’ Internet access between urban and rural counties.

DuoLingo recently announced a version of the language application intended specifically for schools. As Jordan Shapiro writes in Forbes, this could be a great step for the edtech market.

Ahead of the State of the Union, the White House has begun making a push for better broadband. This involved President Obama making remarks in Cedar Falls, IA, (pictured above) and the White House releasing a report, “Community-Based Broadband Solutions: The Benefits of Competition and Choice for Community Development and Highspeed Internet Access.”

Part of the White House’s better broadband plan includes a community broadband summit set to take place in June 2015. The summit would include mayors and county commissioners across the country joining the movement of broadband solutions. It also includes the Department of Agriculture accepting applications for its Community Connect grant until February 17, 2015. The White House will also help form the Broadband Opportunity Council, which will work toward speeding up broadband deployment and will solicit public comment regarding regulatory barriers and opportunity for coordination. In that vein, President Obama made clear his views on removing barriers surrounding broadband regulation in the 19 states in which they exist.

And finally, this week also marked the announcement of the NTIA’s new BroadbandUSA program. The initiative will help communities make sure their citizens have the broadband capacity needed for economic development, education, health care, and public safety. In anticipation of this work, NTIA released a report, “BroadbandUSA: Introduction to Effective Public-Private Partnerships,” which includes best practices on developing successful partnerships. The NTIA will also host workshops throughout the country in 2015.