Luria urges support for improved rural broadband access

Elaine LuriaCongresswoman Elaine Luria urges dedicated resources in the next relief package for schools and libraries to provide wi-fi capability to students without adequate connectivity in their homes.

Luria, D-Va., has joined a letter sent to both House and Senate leadership advocating for funding to ensure students who lack reliable home access to broadband connectivity will not fall behind in their schooling.

“With one in four rural residents unable to reliably connect to the internet, Congress must act to protect access to education for all our students,” said Luria. “Due to the stay-at-home order in Virginia and the closure of all schools, it is more critical than ever that we provide our students the tools to succeed—which includes reliable internet access.”

The letter, signed by Congresswoman Luria, recommends $2 billion in E-Rate funds. The E-Rate program, which was established in 1997, was designed to help schools and libraries gain affordable access to interned by providing discounts ranging from 20%-90%. Additional funding to the E-Rate program would expand these internet and telecommunication services to cover home internet for students in need.

This would significantly close the “homework gap”, which refers to a student’s inability to complete assignments at home due to the lack of internet. Students most affected by the “homework gap” are from lower-income families or live in rural communities.

See here for the letter.

 


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