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Chippendale: Homes Without Internet Access Leave Students Unable to Excel in School

Monday, March 09, 2015


Rep. Michael Chippendale

Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster, Glocester, Coventry) has introduced legislation that would bring broadband internet to households that currently have no means of accessing it. The bill stipulates that “any public utility providing phone, cable television, or broadband internet service to 75% of the eligible residents of any single city or town shall make available said phone, cable television, or internet services to the remaining 25% of the city or town.” Also, “any broadband service provider which provides internet service to any city or town that is part of a school district that utilizes portable internet devices for student learning at home and has broadband internet provided to at least 25% of the eligible residents of any single city or town, must provide broadband internet service for all residents of the city or town.”

“Many parents are very pleased with the Ponaganset School District’s implementation of the Chromebook project – it’s cutting edge technology and our 7th and 9th graders are now using Chromebooks for classroom learning and for homework,” said Representative Chippendale.

Image: Kevin Jarrett/flickr

“But, there is a catch - and it’s a big one,” explained the representative. “There are approximately 232 Foster homes that have no means of accessing Broadband Internet. The students in those households want to do their homework – but they can’t. They have the high tech equipment - which taxpayers have paid for, but the technology is rendered useless in the students’ own homes! This is why I introduced House bill 5488. We must bring access to Broadband Internet to those Foster residences ASAP so these students can do their schoolwork and complete their homework.”
“This problem will only multiply each year because Ponaganset will be adding two more grade levels to the Chromebook Project every year. Even more students will be left behind if there is no resolution to this inequity.”
Chippendale continued, “This problem can be solved by working with utility companies to provide broadband internet services to the towns and school districts where they already exist but stopped short of providing coverage throughout the entirety of those towns and cities. In Foster, that represents about 12 percent of families and their children left without access to the internet.”
“Imagine, your child needs to get homework done on a computer and the area of town where you live has no broadband internet access – in the year 2015.”

Video wall picture courtesy of HP Hewlett-Packard/flickr


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