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Guam schools receive faster internet connection

August 21, 2013

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — All of Guam’s public schools will soon have Internet speeds that are fast enough to qualify for federal reimbursement.

Last school year, Guam’s education department lost out on federal money because a contractor could only provide up to 10 megabits per second. The department paid $11,165 a month without federal reimbursement.

Superintendent Jon Fernandez last summer told contractor Pacific Data Systems to improve Internet speeds by this week. There are now 36 schools that have acceptable speeds, and all 40 are expected to have speeds that qualify for federal reimbursement by the end of the week, Pacific Daily News (http://ow.ly/o8yVF ) reported.

The department plans to re-apply for reimbursement to help pay for the $31,775 a month it will pay Pacific Data Systems once it delivers a minimum of 1,000 Mbps per site.

The contractor has said Internet service has been hampered by infrastructure limitations and delays with construction permits.

Donny Castro, a fifth-grade teacher at Price Elementary School, said a lot of time was wasted last school year waiting for lessons to download. It recently took him less than a minute to download a lesson on adjectives.

His school has a mobile computer lab with 30 laptops for each grade level. Last year’s speeds made it difficult for students to go online with 20 or 30 laptops at a time. The department expects that won’t be an issue anymore.

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