Many college students lost access to a reliable internet connection when campuses across the country closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, April 25, fifty-one organizations, including each C-RAC member, signed onto a letter urging Congress to increase broadband access for students transitioning to online learning.
In the letter, supporters write:
"Access to technology is crucial for today’s students—96 percent of students report using the internet for school work, but a study by Microsoft in 2019 indicated that over 160 million American households don’t have broadband internet. Lack of broadband disproportionately affects low-income communities, rural populations, and tribal nations. Because today’s students who relied on their college campuses for access to Wi-Fi and have now lost access to campus and other institutions such as libraries or coffee shops where they may have had internet connection, they are now facing new and overwhelming challenges to their learning. These challenges may cause students to lag behind in their coursework, drop out for the semester, or choose to not return in future semesters.
"The most common issue given for not having reliable high-speed internet access is the cost of services. As such, we are asking you to act swiftly to support today’s students by bolstering broadband connectivity for postsecondary students through COVID-19 emergency response legislation."