WXXI AM News

internet

Many schools are deciding to keep students online – some exclusively, others for part of the fall. The New York Times argues that consistent internet access is now a civil right, and many students will be denied quality education based on their household’s income or where they live. And now, Charter Communications is asking the government for the right to impose data caps and charge families more for using their services.

Our guests discuss the impact of such a move, along with ways to handle internet access during the ongoing crisis:

When schools closed in March and teachers and students were pushed to online learning settings, the transition proved difficult for students who lack internet access and technology. The digital divide continues to be a concern, and the team at ROC the Future has analyzed where the gaps are and the impact they're having on students.

The Rochester Area Community Foundation has created a special funding opportunity -- the COVID Education Fund -- for school districts and other educational organizations in the region to support the purchase of technology and internet access for students who don't have it.

This hour, we discuss the digital divide and how it's affecting local students. Our guests:

*This hour was interrupted by NPR's coverage of a White House press conference, which led to an abbreviated discussion.

We look at the digital divide -- a serious problem on any day in America, and especially so during a pandemic. But what can be done?

County legislators are looking at ways to bring more connectivity to everyone. They're looking at what it would take to do a municipal internet network. It's not simple, but it's important, and some lawmakers have come to look at the problem as a civil rights issue.

Our guests are Monroe County legislators:

We examine the arguments in the net neutrality debate. Are we headed for a pay-as-you-go internet? Will this greatly impact our ability to get online? Who wins, and who loses? We discuss this with Remy DeCausemaker, adjunct professor at RIT's Golisano College of Computing and Information Science, and Sarah Morris, senior policy council at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute.