Internet Access for Rural Teachers & Students

Internet Access for Rural Teachers & Students

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Rebecca Beckner-Richey started this petition to Richard Burr and

The lack of broadband internet in the rural communities of Alexander/Caldwell County is a huge issue.  Especially at a time such as now.  I find many of the efforts disingenuous, as most of the county outside of city limits still lack modern broadband internet access.

The lack of access to consistent, wired broadband internet is a daily frustration and barrier to success for those living in rural areas within these counties.

Let me clear up any misunderstanding before going any further, "rural" in Alexander/Caldwell County is not the same as being hundreds of miles in the middle of nowhere Montana.  I live just outside of the Northwestern part of Alexander County in the Northeastern part of Caldwell, a mere 8 miles to the city limits of Lenoir and 8 miles to the city limits of Taylorsville city limits.  Secondly, Complaining about the lack of internet access isn't about watching the latest movie on Netflix or playing the latest online game.

We are limited to two choices of home internet: satellite internet or mobile carrier provided hotspots.  Both are slow, throttled and very expensive.  Neither of these options can keep up with the amount of data and the required speed of daily applications and websites, providing single digit mbps speeds.  They are both throttles offerings, meaning you are limited to a certain amount of data each month.  They both cost hundreds of dollars a month.

Internet has never been more vital than at a time like this.  Basic functions in 2019 have now become critical in 2020. I could fill a page in the newspaper with all the hassles: the majority of our kids can hardly access or complete their online school work; some online textbooks don't even load because the connection is so slow; teachers working from home cannot access email or complete online planning for students; banking applications timeout, causing errors; some websites don't even work all-together; having online security systems is not an option; sharing large files for personal or work-related reasons is brutally slow.

People across the county are trying to continue business and school from home during this unprecedented time and cannot achieve progress without better internet.  Small businesses struggle to keep a strong signal and waste much needed revenue on higher bills, farmers are limited from accessing more modern tools, and many people are self-employed or remote-based employees for companies.

We are long past the days when internet access is optional or a luxury.  Internet access must be a basic utility, no different than electricity and water.  That is not hyperbole.  It's a necessity in today's America and without it, segments of our population fall farther behind in every aspect of life.

Please contact these providers on our behalf and take the necessary measure to mandate that they provide access for our community.  The latest response I received from At&t today 4/1/2020, "Sorry, maybe if you get enough people interested in your area we could set up service in your location".  That's not good enough.  The service is in our area they just refuse to allow new accounts to access these services.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!