It’s apparent that many school aged children are going to be attending virtual classes for the near future.
While parents juggle childcare and/or alternative in-person learning schedules, there is a critical need for families to be equipped with high-speed internet access. Lack of a strong and reliable broadband connection puts an additional strain on low-income families.
Some local government “leaders” mistakenly believe that they have the answer: constructing their own municipal broadband networks. There are myriad reasons why this is a very bad idea (takes too long to construct, costs too much, costs often exceed what’s available via private providers, to name just a few) but some elected officials believe that they are the ones that can do it right.
Enter the city of Chicago – a city that isn’t exactly known as a safe and well-run city. Yet Chicago has figured out how to provide broadband quickly for those with urgent needs.
The city “is using $50 million in mostly philanthropic funds to provide 100,000 low-income students with free broadband connections for up to four years via a partnership with its major cable providers.”
Since they are partnering with existing privately-owned and constructed networks, it is likely that more families will quickly have access to free or very affordable broadband. What a great partnership between private industry and private philanthropy to get the job done for kids in need. Well done!