According to a recent post by Jeff Caruso in Network World, "The U.S. economic stimulus package is law - all $787 billion of it - and of that, $7.2 billion has been set aside for improvements to the nation's broadband infrastructure. Let's take a closer look at what that means." The post said, "The final, passed version sets aside $2.5 billion of the total $7.2 billion for the "Distance Learning, Telemedicine and Broadband Program."
One year from now, the FCC is supposed to submit a "national broadband plan," which "shall seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal."
Potentially this could significantly improve access to distance learning.