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Information technologies are improving educational outcomes for students around the world. But to maximize the impact of these technologies, schools need high-speed Internet connections. New Zealand is an example of a country that has improved its students’ performance on standardized tests by ensuring that all of its schools have broadband Internet service.
In a recent policy report, Arthur Grimes and Wilbur Townsend from the New Zealand-based Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Institute analyzed the impact that broadband access has had on student test scores since New Zealand implemented a national broadband initiative in 2009. The researchers found that when a school gained access to broadband, the share of its students who passed standardized tests in mathematics, reading, and writing improved by an average of 1 percentage point.