The effect of fibre broadband on student learning

Motu Working Paper 17-03
5 April 2017

We estimate the impact of ultra-fast broadband on schools’ academic performance using a difference-in-difference study of a new fibre broadband network. We show that fibre broadband increases primary schools’ passing rates in standardised assessments by roughly one percentage point. Estimates are robust to alternative specifications, such as controlling for time-varying covariates. We find no evidence that gender, ethnic minorities or students enrolled in remote schools benefit disproportionately. However, we find some evidence of a larger benefit within schools that have a greater proportion of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

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Arthur Grimes, Wilbur Townsend, 2017, The effect of fibre broadband on student learning, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, viewed 30 April 2017, <>.

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