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How Does Rural Living Affect Your Access to the Internet?

Photo by Al Bauschardt

Did this blog post load slowly on your home Internet connection?

Do you avoid looking at photos or watching videos online because it takes too long?

Do you kids go into town to do homework with a friend who has high-speed Internet at their house?

You might be among the 42% of rural Americans who don’t have broadband.

Given the cost of high-speed Internet in rural areas, broadband seems like a luxury for many Missouri families. Unfortunately, high-speed Internet is anything but a luxury for families with school-aged kids. In fact, it’s an important part of kids’ success in school.

According to a Federal Reserve study cited by the Federal Communications Commission, students with a computer and broadband at home earned 6%-8% higher GPAs that students who didn’t.

According to a June 2013 White House report called, “Four Years of Broadband Growth”, less than 20% of rural Missourians have access to Internet at speeds great than or equal to 25 Mbps.

What does this mean for Missouri’s students? It means that there’s a growing divide between the resources available to rural students and those in urban and suburban areas. And in a state like Missouri, where 37% of our families are rural, the divide is greater than it is in major metropolitan centers like Washington, DC or New York City.

Have you seen a divide in your own town’s access to Internet?

Has your son or daughter been given homework assignments that were difficult to complete from home because of slow Internet speeds?

We want to hear from you.

Leave a comment telling us how slow Internet has affected your child, your family, or your community.

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