Sen. Loranne Ausley (D-Tallahassee) wants to increase broadband service in Florida’s rural counties. She says the need has always existed but has been highlighted by COVID-19 and distance learning. Ausley says currently not every student has the same access to education because some live in areas where broadband service is weak. She hopes to address that in the upcoming state legislative session.
"Make sure that every kid has access to a computer. Not just access to the laptop, but has access and ability to connect to the internet, and technical assistance to be able to get on the internet if they need it," said Ausley. "That is a mammoth undertaking but it is absolutely essential to keep our kids from falling behind."
Ausley worries if resources aren’t provided soon, kids who are distance learning with low broadband speeds could fall behind in school. She says the first step is identifying which areas need increased access to broadband services.