Del. Devotes $20M From CARES Act For Broadband Access

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Delaware will utilize CARES Act funding to make sure students who start the school year learning virtually are connected.

Part of the 20-million dollar allocation announced Monday would help families that cannot afford or obtain internet access.

Elyse Baerga of the Woodbridge School District says when schools suddenly switched to online learning last March, it was discovered that about 30-percent of families were not served by the Internet.

“These past few months, our staff was tasked with the great challenge of providing remote instruction, a concept that really transformed how we taught our students and more importantly how we could serve their needs.  This task seemed almost insurmountable as we learned how many of our students and staff lived in remote areas with little internet reliability or connectivity,” Baerga said. “The State’s commitment towards improving these conditions is critical to our students’ continued success.  As all school districts throughout the state plan and prepare for hybrid learning we will be relying on these resources to improve our ability to deliver instruction and services, to better serve our students. We are grateful to see how many families are already taking advantage of this amazing opportunity.”

The funding will be used to expand infrastructure, gather strategic data through a statewide speed survey, and to make equipment and services available for families in need.

15 towers in Kent and Sussex Counties that are being built as part of the state’s rural wireless broadband initiative are expected to be done in about four months. Governor John Carney says in addition to helping students and teachers, improving broadband and making it more available benefits adults who are working remotely.