The Internet is important to education because it provides instant availability of vast stores of information in real time. Prior to the availability of the Internet, one seeking an education often had to be physically near the information he wished to learn. This involved walking to a school, listening to a teacher and having access to a library. With the Internet, learners have instant access to information on virtually any subject.
With more than 70 percent of for-profit colleges and universities offering online courses to their students, online learning is a booming business and is providing the opportunity of a higher education to many people who might not have had that option with a traditional, physical classroom.
Research and studying has also been changed by the Internet. Previously, academic articles and essays had to be accessed inside a library. One had to be a member of the library in order to use it and had to visit during operating hours. Now, the Internet offers instant access to countless databases, including those of academic journals, that are easily perused from one's home.
The American government realizes the Internet's significance to its population's education and is actively making efforts to improve broadband networks in rural areas with the specific goal of aiding rural citizens' educations and professional opportunities. The National Broadband Project commenced in 2009 and is similar to other countries' goals of making Internet access more attainable in order to improve education.