Education is one of the areas with the greatest “opportunity gap” between residents of rural and urban communities because of disparities in broadband Internet access, according to a new report.
The lack of affordable, high-speed Internet connections in many rural communities limits educational options for residents. While that access has been a concern for elementary and secondary schools, it is also an essential link to postsecondary courses that could help rural residents increase their credentials and, as a result, earnings. Nearly 10 million rural residents do not have access to the Internet at speeds suitable for getting graphics-rich resources or interactive programming, the report says.
“Geography, especially the divide between rural and urban America, determines how much some Americans can benefit from the Internet,” the report concludes.
A version of this article appeared in the October 24, 2012 edition of Education Week as Broadband Access