WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Students Still Struggle With Internet Access

Some southern Albemarle students are faced with a tough dilemma.

They want to do their homework assignments at home, but they don't have broadband internet access. One student has made the fight to get internet access for him and other students his mission.

Andy Tapscott says the recent increase from CenturyLink of extended access in Albemarle does nothing to help his five square mile dead zone west of Scottsville.

And as you can imagine, it's a frustrating problem for teachers, too. They are trying to keep up with the growing trend of "virtual assignments" fueled this year by the new state requirement that all graduating seniors have to have at least one virtual course on their transcript.

Albemarle county school officials say the issue is fundamental to closing the opportunity gap in the county.

CenturyLink says they recognize the importance of students having access to high speed internet at home. They recently addeded two sites in that area.

A roundtable discussion involving local government, the schools and local providers recently was held and it led to the decision to form a broadband task force in the next few weeks.

One of its purposes will be to survey and collect data on broadband access throughout the county. Right now, the task force is planning on reporting to the board of supervisors sometime next spring with recommendations on funding options, permits and rights of way.

In the meantime, students like Andy Tapscott are faced with having to try to find an alternative to doing their homework assignments at home.

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