When schools reopen later this summer, whether physically or virtually, it’s likely that access to high-speed internet will be a prerequisite to learning. Yet more than 11 percent of U.S. households don’t have a computer; almost 9 percent more have a computer, but no internet access, according to a Social Explorer analysis of 2014-18 American Community Survey data.
The issue is most pronounced in the Southeastern U.S. Roughly one-third of Mississippi households don’t have broadband access. Arkansas (30.8 percent), New Mexico (28.4 percent), and Louisiana (28.1 percent) also have significant numbers of households with no high-speed internet. Even states with relatively high percentages of broadband availability may wind up having trouble providing education to thousands of children; Washington, which has the highest broadband penetration in the U.S., reports that only 14 percent of its households don’t have high-speed internet. Even so, that figure means almost 400,000 households are without broadband connections.
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