Posted on August 24, 2020 in ATSC News
By: Phil Kurz, TVTechnology
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Closure of the nation’s schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic has focused attention on the gap in access to broadband internet service between those with means and those without, those in cities and suburbs and those in rural America.
With classrooms closed, school districts have turned to online meeting tools like Zoom and virtual learning environments like Blackboard Learn to deliver lessons to millions of homebound students. However, these sorts of tools can only be effective if students can access the internet.
The FCC’s “2019 Broadband Deployment Report” puts the number of Americans lacking access to fixed terrestrial broadband connectivity at 21.3 million; however, a study by BroadbandNow Research in February indicates the number is closer to twice that.
Jim DeChant, vice president of Technology at News-Press & Gazette (NPG) Broadcasting, however, says there is an alternative to the internet that can fill this digital divide and deliver lessons tailored to individual students regardless of where they live or their economic circumstances.
Posted in ATSC News
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