As COVID-19 spreads across the world and throughout the United States, government officials are taking increasingly cautious measures to keep citizens safe such as social distancing by staying home or imposing a city-wide curfew. For many with children, that means homeschooling, with the help of digital learning from their regular schools. Remote and rural areas with poor or very little broadband internet access, however, have been left in an educational vacuum. In addition to a lack of digital education tools for children staying home, families are left without access to updates on COVID-19 or health and safety restrictions.
According to ABC News, in many communities from Appalachia to Montana, sufficient internet service is only available in city centers from major chains like Starbucks or local coffee shops that are known to have a good connection. In response, the Federal Communications Commission, as well as internet providers, are working to put short-term fixes in place. These temporary solutions include removing data caps, providing free access to low-income consumers and increasing the range of local cellphone towers. These steps will help enable those without sufficient home broadband connections to stay informed during a rapidly changing time.