Watch: Interview with Casey Coffey
When children in small town and rural areas miss out on their right to an education because of lack of broadband, something must be done. Casey Coffey, superintendent of New Lexington City Schools speaks about how he has seen education impacted by lack of broadband.
I live outside of Beverly and our house does not have access to high speed internet. I know that Verizon just put a hub down the street from us and I believe it is for Fiber. Spectrum stopped 5 houses down from us. Our neighbor recently contacted Spectrum and they said they would connect us if we could get the other neighbors signed on as well. First an elderly couple would have to sign on before our neighbor that called can get access. Then a family with two boys with major medical issues would have to sign on before we could have access. [This family has] two kids in K-12 and his wife is taking college classes virtually. My family has one child in k-12 with a second starting this fall. I feel that essentially Spectrum is blackmailing our elderly and medically needy families so we can have access.
Verizon’s ETA for activation is still unknown, but there is no physical cable to our
houses at the moment so it is our fear that we still will not be serviced.
Watch: Left behind without broadband
Former mayor of Crooksville, Ohio, Fred Redfern, discusses the challenges that rural communities face due to lack of broadband access, especially as regards the education system.
I have a daughter that is a sophomore at AHS that has been participating in the virtual learning. At our house we only have only one internet provider available, Frontier, and it cuts out 50+ times during a school day every day. They have been out to service it and we have done everything we can and it is not reliable for her to learn properly. She gets kicked off of zoom lectures and also when trying to take tests, etc. We also have one of the school district’s hotspots but it is not sufficient for zoom meetings. Her virtual school schedule is 7:50 AM until 3 PM Tuesday through Friday. We are looking for a safe solution for her to learn. I understand that the Athens Public Library has 2 conference rooms available on a first come first serve basis and the library opens at 9 AM. I talked to my daughter about this and she would be happy to use a conference room at the library but she is attending back to back classes online with her first break at 11:15 AM. So it would not work for the morning as she can’t be absent from class to get to the library. Plus if she arrived at the library for the afternoon sessions since the conference rooms are first come first serve it may not work as a solution or certainly wouldn’t be a consistent solution. I checked with the Albany and Plains branches and I understand that they each have 1 conference room but they have been converted to office spaces for social distancing so they don’t work. I am wondering if you have any ideas for solutions. She is taking honors and AP courses (mostly junior level) and is a really good kid. I need to find a solution for her to properly learn in our community.