Report: Lack Of Reliable, Affordable Broadband Hurts Hartford Students’ Ability To Do Homework

(CBS Connecticut) — A report released today by the state consumer counsel and a community engagement group called Strategic Outreach Services says reliable high-speed internet service is often either unavailable, or too expensive for low-income capital city residents.

The report says this is hurting students ability to research and complete homework.

The document says some students were doing homework at a McDonald’s wi-fi, but the company changed its policy to limit the amount of time they could stay at a table.

Bulkeley High School graduate Josh Rosario says every child deserves to have the resources they need to succeed in school, no matter what their financial status is.

“My brothers and I would have to spend two hours in our school library after school, getting any work for our classes that we needed to get done while we waited for our mother to drive us back home,” Rosario said. “We did think about using the public library’s computers, but they were usually in use by other students.”

The report also describes how one group of students does their homework outside on a porch even in bad weather, to get access to wi-fi from a nearby school.

State Consumer Counsel Elin Katz says universal service requirements placed on telephone and electric companies do not apply to internet service providers.

Organizers say a discussion is needed to create ways of dealing with the problem.

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