This study examines the effects of super-fast internet connections on the academic achievement of students in upper secondary school. We link detailed register data on around 250,000 students to local levels of access to optic fiber broadband, in order to estimate a causal effect of broadband on student GPA.
We show that reaching full coverage in the student’s parish of residence causes a GPA reduction ranging from 3 to 6 percent of a standard deviation. Estimates are consistently more negative for boys and students with low ability and/or low-educated parents. Using PISA survey data, we provide evidence that students living in areas with the greatest high-speed broadband expansion also spend more time online during weekdays, suggesting student time use as a potential mechanism.