Summarizing The broadband gap through the eyes of one Edgecombe County educator, Analisa Sorrells EdNC
Many individuals across the state, especially in rural areas, have limited or no access to broadband. In this EdNC article, Shawna Andrews shares how lack of broadband impacts her life and work in Edgecombe County, especially during this time. Unable to have internet service in the home, Andrews uses a hotspot on her cell phone for internet, an expensive but necessary choice. Even with the hotspot, her family has connectivity issues and her son is working on schoolwork using his cellphone.
Andrews works for Edgecombe County Public Schools and is concerned about students’ ability to participate in remote learning while schools are closed. Many parts of the county lack both internet access and cell phone service. Despite internet companies offering discounts during this time, lack of infrastructure makes it impossible for her and others to take advantage of them.
Lack of affordable and accessible internet is not a new problem in Edgecombe County but the pandemic has intensified the challenge.