Arkansas Online:

By Brian Fanney

Schools are connecting to a new high-speed broadband network faster than first anticipated, Mark Myers, director of the Department of Information Systems, told lawmakers Monday.

When the project is completed, Arkansas will become one of three states with high-speed broadband in every school building, he said. The department has also managed to secure a contract for the two school districts that did not receive a bid last year.

"We are moving to the top of the class in connectivity," Myers said.

More than 20 companies have been working to convert the network from copper wire to high-speed, fiber-optic cable, which will transmit information via pulses of light rather than electricity.

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