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Over time, Internet access has changed from a convenience to a necessity. Nothing illustrates this shift more clearly than the pandemic, which has forced schools, work, and most other things to become virtual almost overnight.But for million For students and families who cannot access the Internet at home, adapting to a virtual classroom becomes extremely challenging, even impossible.

In the past year, we heard a lot of people talking about the digital divide, but it existed long before the pandemic. Jackie is the American female ambassador in Norfolk, Virginia. She is particularly concerned about the accessibility of the Internet, and she is not alone.According to a report According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, approximately 31% of women worry about paying for broadband during the pandemic.

Every issue is a gender issue, even broadband access.

When Jackie saw that the children in her community were involved”Working gap“—Because they were required to access the Internet to attend the school, but they did not have enough connections at home—she took action. She opened her home to them and opened a “homework home” during the lockdown period Every day, nearby children are welcome to enter her home and go to school.

Jackie’s commitment to support her community by opening her home to young people is glorious to say the least, but it shouldn’t be.

Fortunately, for children and families who do not have reliable Internet access or even a homework home, help has finally arrived.

This Emergency Connectivity FundLaunched this month by the Federal Communications Commission, it is the largest program in our country’s history to help students obtain the necessary Internet access at home to fully participate in virtual schools during this crisis. As part of the US rescue plan, with a budget of more than 7 billion U.S. dollars, Congress instructed the FCC to help schools and libraries provide students and customers with connected devices, such as Wi-Fi hotspots, routers, modems, airline cards, and other equipment and services, so whether they Wherever you live, no child will fall on the wrong side of the digital divide.

The Emergency Connected Fund is close to 17 million students Stuck in the blank of homework? This means that no children will be locked out of the online classroom. This means that parents do not have to work hard to find a safe space for their children to go online to do their homework. This means that children do not have to sit outside a fast food restaurant or a dark parking lot in order to get a free Wi-Fi signal.

The cruel fact is that too many children lack the Internet access and speed needed to succeed in the 21st century. After last year, the FCC said enough.

Students need an emergency connection fund. Now is the time to promote the program in our community so that schools and libraries can apply.We encourage anyone who is interested to go www.fcc.gov/emergency-connectivity-fund understand more.

For the children and their families who walk into Jackie’s Homework House to surf the Internet every day, help is on the way. As the country continues to open safely, the Emergency Connect Fund will change the lives of students and community members, just like Jackie’s neighbors.

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