US Rep Angie Craig voices support for better broadband at constituent listening session

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig held a virtual listening session earlier this week and heard what it’s like trying to learn and keep health while sheltering in place without adequation broadband. RiverTowns.Net reports

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig held a virtual meeting with leaders of Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District on Monday, April 6, 2020, to discuss how communities have been hit by COVID-19.

She learned that broadband is a barrier for online learning…

Stacy Schultz, the principal of Wabasha-Kellogg K-12 School, echoed Ihrke’s comments about the difficulty of transitioning teaching from physical classrooms to online platforms. She also added that her school has faced challenges due to the lack of internet accessibility.

“Internet connection out here in the hills and the valleys of our area here has been difficult for some of our teachers and our students. So our local cable company has been great, but those people who are beyond that reach, again, is a huge need,” Schultz told Craig.

And a barrier for telehealth…

Local hospitals and care providers are also being challenged by the lack of broadband in southeastern Minnesota.

Clinic manager at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Sue Stiene explained that most primary care visits are now virtual check-ins or phone visits. Like local educators, health care providers are finding that the’ internet is not as accessible as they would like. And, even if all of their patients had broadband access. it would not solve all of the problems.

“We have a high number of elderly patients who don’t have that technology that we can utilize. So, it makes it a little tough,” she said.

Craig voices support for better broadband…

Craig stressed during the meeting that she understands the need for internet access throughout the Second Congressional District. She stated, “I am certainly prioritizing a huge investment in broadband through this next spending bill.”

 

This entry was posted in Conferences, education, Healthcare, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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