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A Final Frontier of the Digital Divide: Getting Wi-Fi to the Most Remote Areas

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A Final Frontier of the Digital Divide: Getting Wi-Fi to the Most Remote Areas

Photo: Starlink launch (Brian Linn/SpaceX). Article by Marquita Brown.

A new approach to providing broadband through satellites gives reliable internet access to far-flung communities — including a Texas school district.

When leaders of Ector County Independent School District learned in March that 39 percent of their students lacked reliable broadband access at home, they went to work on finding a solution. It was crucial that students be able to connect to remote instruction.

The district secured funding from philanthropies. It developed business partnerships to get low-income families in Odessa, a large city that’s the county seat, free broadband access through June 2021. It bought mobile hotspots and installed cellphone towers on school buildings. […]

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