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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Net Neutrality Debate and Higher Ed

The recent ruling by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) on net neutrality created more questions than answers for education, according to Jeff Livingston, senior vice president of education policy for McGraw-Hill Education. His biggest concern is how the bandwidth needed to accommodate a more interactive and digital way of learning will be provided and at what cost.

“What we are most interested in with net neutrality and this conversation is in making certain those educational uses that are essential to a really important public purpose are not de-prioritized in favor of bigger and better entertainment solutions,” Livingston told eCampus News.

The FCC ruling does not specifically mention the needs of education. That is an issue for Livingston, who is concerned it could eventually pit the bandwidth needs of digital content with the public’s desire to access their games and movies faster.

“Now, if the final rulings do come out and there is not an explicit prioritization of education, I believe you will definitely hear a lot more from educational institutions than we’ve heard this far,” he said. “Frankly, they fully expect it to be OK—but I just want to make sure.”

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