Broadband Association of North Dakota works to get more students connected

Charter Spectrum announced it will offer free access to broadband and WiFi services to...
Charter Spectrum announced it will offer free access to broadband and WiFi services to households with students. / (MGN)(WVLT)
Published: Mar. 30, 2020 at 8:25 PM CDT
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With North Dakota schools turning to distance education, not everyone has access to the Internet, specifically those students who reside in rural areas of the state.

The Broadband Association of North Dakota has surveyed student homes to see which have broadband service and which ones do not.

So far, out of 72,000 rural households with students, 1,215 student homes do not have broadband subscriptions, but now 930 of those homes are connected to the internet.

Many students who log on to a computer take connecting to the internet for granted.

Hundreds of kids in North Dakota who do not have access do not.

Twelve hundred plus students were not connected, but many of them are now, at no cost to them or their parents.

"We,re doing that for free for the remainder of the school year and some cases a little bit longer to make sure they can participate in the education their school districts are requiring," said Broadband Association’s Executive Vice President David Crothers.

The remaining 151 we're unable to get connected for varying reasons like weather or frozen ground, the association says it's evaluating the best options to get access to those students.

"We've put up wifi hotspots and opening that up not just to the students but to the entire community to make sure that they can access broadband for free," said Crothores.

Crothers says he thinks the Association has been successful with this process and hopes to continue to get more students connected.