With West Virginia being one of the most rural areas in the country, not all communities have broadband internet access.
Nowadays, the Internet is more and more accessible to everyone, including students. Many schools are now distributing tablets and laptops for students to take home and work on homework. However, not all students have broadband internet.
That’s why U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (right) has been working hard to add more broadband internet to communities across the mountain state.
“With this USDA program, we hope to bring rural America in and bridge this digital divide between urban and rural America in terms of connectivity,” Capito said.
The program represents more than $ 600 million in grants and loans. Capito says she encourages anyone with limited or no broadband service to contact her office.
Patrick Riddle, the technology coordinator for Ohio County Schools, says it not only gives students access to the Internet, but also strengthens their communication skills.
“It really level the playing field,” Riddle said. “Broadband access for kids is access to information at this point. Students are bringing devices back to us and some groups, and probably others next year. With them, being able to connect to the internet and search for information is huge. ”
Riddle says he teaches his students that the internet is meant to be used more as a tool of productivity than entertainment.