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Jul 28, 2020

Back to At The Table

Sounding the Alarm on the Digital Divide

After COVID-19 forced area schools into online learning this spring, it became apparent that many students were not being reached.

For Columbus City Schools, anywhere between 20-50 percent of students were unengaged when learning shifted to home. This sounded the alarm. The Columbus Foundation moved quickly to get the facts about broadband access on the table and into civic leaders' hands, so solutions could be put into place to get people the access they need for school, work, and life.

The Foundation commissioned AECOM, an international civil infrastructure research and planning company, to help answer this question, "Is the physical broadband structure in place to support our Columbus community?" This month, that report was released, and it found that the digital divide in Columbus isn't an infrastructure problem, but a complex landscape of challenges.

Matt Martin, Community Research and Grants Management Officer joined with Michael Bongiorno, who led the project as the Managing Principal and Design Director of AECOM's Columbus Regional Office, and Autumn Glover, President of PACT, an organization dedicated to increasing well-being for community members living on the Near East Side, to discuss the findings.

Watch the conversation below or on YouTube!

    

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