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Feb 2, 2014 3:57 PM by Associated Press

Companies back fast Internet-in-schools initiative

WASHINGTON - The White House says it's lined up private support for President Barack Obama's pledge to connect 15,000 schools and 20 million students with high-speed Internet service over the next few years.

A White House education event Tuesday will focus on his ConnectED initiative.

Chief of staff Denis McDonough, tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that companies are going to commit more than a half-billion dollars so schools have the technology for students to "compete in this economy."

The Education Department says about 80 percent of schools have Internet capabilities that are too slow or limited to places such as front offices and computer labs. Obama says American schools are falling behind those in other countries with better broadband access.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering ways to increase connectivity in schools.

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