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Perspective | Education Matters: Accessibility and adoption of broadband

Over and over, we have been hearing from North Carolina teachers saying that they have not been able to reach some of their students during this stay at home order, one major reason being the lack of access to broadband. In areas across the state, broadband access is limited, particularly in rural regions, where some students are having to walk to schools or other publicly available Wi-Fi hot spots just to do schoolwork on their devices.

Even when broadband is available, other barriers to adoption prevent many of our households from being connected. This equity issue has been exacerbated in the wake of COVID-19 and is leaving some students unable to communicate with their teachers and fellow classmates, unable to complete school assignments, and less able to access digital learning resources as other students staying home.


  • Jeff Sural, Broadband Infrastructure Office, DIT
  • Amy Huffman, Broadband Infrastructure Office, DIT 
  • Dr. Mark Samberg, director of technology programs at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation
Public School Forum of North Carolina

Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of better schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education, and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers.