It’s time for the MN Broadband Model to bring broadband to communities without ability to ask

The Duluth News Tribune posts a letter to the editor from David Beard, who teaches writing and communication at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He outlines some projects that have done a great job bringing broadband to some parts of the northland but the letter is a reminder that we are not all there and until we are, we need to keep working…

Imagine if you had to drive to your local library to virtually visit with a therapist about your increasing anxiety during the pandemic. Or imagine if you had to drive to the community center to ask your doctor to take a look at the mole that appeared on your forearm. It sounds inconvenient, invasive, and awkward.

And yet, for as long as one in 10 Minnesotans lacks access to broadband internet, we are telling our (mostly rural) neighbors that we don’t care how inconvenient, invasive, and awkward it can be for them to see their doctor.

Broadband internet access is a health care equity issue, and we need to do more.

US Senator introduce Legislation for device vouchers program to close the digital divide

An interesting proposal to help get devices into the hands that need them; Sen McEachin reports

Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) introduced the Device Access for Every American Act to ensure more Americans can afford connected devices. The bicameral legislation would authorize the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a program to administer up to $400 vouchers for low-income Americans to purchase laptops, tablets, and desktop computers.

Millions of households across the nation lack access to connected devices. While computer access is nearly ubiquitous amongst high-income households, 40% of low-income adults lack a desktop or laptop computer. Additionally, 4.4 million households with students lack consistent access to a computer.

“Laptops, tablets, and other connected devices are indispensable in our increasingly digital world. Many students’ homework assignments now require laptops, more employers are exploring telework models, and more doctors’ offices are migrating toward telehealth services as the new standard of care,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “The COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated this need and underscored the stark disparities that currently exist in our country. For too many low-income Americans, prohibitive costs pose unnecessary challenges and hardships for them and their families. I am proud to introduce the Device Access for Every American Act, along with my colleague, Senator Warnock, to improve access to these vital devices, connect millions of American households, and help close the digital divide once and for all.”

“It is nearly impossible to get by without access to a laptop or tablet—especially after a year of adjusting to virtual learning, working, and more,” said Sen. Warnock (D-GA). “For that, I am incredibly proud to introduce the Device Access for Every American Act, which ensures that every American – regardless of income or zip code – has the ability to participate and thrive in our increasingly digital economy. This legislation also ensures students stay on track, especially following a year of learning loss, with the necessary devices at their disposal.”

Tool Template: Finding the Broadband Internet Service That Works for Your Family

There is a great template for schools (or others) to help you help your students or other folks get the broadband they need. It’s called Finding the Broadband Internet Service That Works for Your Family. My colleague Bill Coleman created it with feedback from Marc Johnson at ECMECC walks folks through better understanding the technology and who to call to get better service or help. You can customize it based on what is available in your community or through your school. So it’ll take a little time to make it most useful but it seems like that there’s someone at your school or office already answering these questions on a regular basis so it might be an easy way to quit reinventing the wheel!

Recommendations for reforming universal service to keep it around longer!

SHLB Coalition, INCOMPAS, and NTCA, with support from Public Knowledge recently released a report on Reforming Universal Service Contributions Mechanism, which could also be called – how to save Universal Service and help keep more online at all incomes. They look at some options…

To ensure the enduring value of the USF program and America’s connectivity goals, we must have a smart and substantive conversation about the pro[1]gram’s future. At the request of INCOMPAS, NTCA – the Rural Broadband Association, and the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, this report analyzes several options for FCC reform of the current status quo that have been pending in FCC rulemakings dating back to the early 2000’s: (1) modifying the current revenues-based contribution methodology to assess broadband internet access service revenues, (2) assessing connections, or (3) assessing telephone numbers.

They make recommendations…

Reforming the current revenues-based system to include broadband internet access service revenues is the preferred approach, both as a matter of policy and ease of implementation. Doing so would reduce the contribution factor to less than 4%.

First, it is appropriate as a matter of public policy to assess broadband internet access service revenues because all four programs in the USF promote universal broadband. The revenues from broadband internet access services that are increasingly used by Americans today should contribute to the USF programs that support the expansion of such services to all. This will better reflect the value of broadband internet access service in today’s marketplace for both consumers and businesses.

Second, broadband internet access service revenues are expected to be stable in the future, with the potential for some modest growth. This would stabilize the funding mechanism and stop the death spiral in the current USF contribution methodology.

Third, it is a solution that can be implemented more quickly than the alternatives. It would be far less uncertain than seeking congressional intervention and can be done by the FCC pursuant to its current statutory mandate. FCC reform of the USF contribution mechanism now is an important first step in stabilizing the current system.

Fourth, there is a significant advantage to retaining the current revenues-based system because most of the revenues reported to the FCC for USF purposes come from publicly traded companies that are audited and subject to stringent financial

reporting standards for their revenues. This external financial scrutiny would provide an additional level of assurance that the metric used to assess USF contributions is accurately reported.

Fifth, assessing both broadband internet access service and voice services removes the incentives of providers to arbitrarily allocate revenues from bundled services to one service and not the other. This creates an inequitable situation where some end users continue to pay into USF, while others do not, yet everyone benefits from the positive network externalities of universal connectivity made possible from the four USF programs that support broad[1]band-capable networks and service.

Reform of the current system of financing universal service is long overdue. The FCC has sought comment multiple times on various permutations of the options analyzed in this report and has the ability to move forward to assess broadband internet access service revenues without congressional action. The rapid increase in the contribution factor over the last decade and potentially in the future puts the stability of the entire USF at risk. While other proposals to help finance universal broadband may warrant further examination, the FCC should reform the current contribution methodology now to assess broadband internet access service revenues.

FCC expands Emergency Broadband Benefit Program eligibility for another year

The FCC reports

By this Public Notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announces that it will expand the school years that will be acceptable for eligibility determination purposes for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program).  As a result of this change, households that can demonstrate participation in the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program for the 2021-2022 school year will now be eligible for the benefit.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA or Act)[1] provides that households with members who are approved to participate in the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program are eligible for the EBB Program,[2] and the Commission’s rules adopted this eligibility criteria.[3]  In the EBB Program Order, the Commission clarified that, in addition to households that apply for and are approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program, households with students that are enrolled in schools that participate in the USDA Community Eligibility Provision will also be eligible for the EBB Program under the school lunch program or school breakfast program eligibility criteria.[4]  The Commission further agreed with commenters that proposed that the Commission allow proof of enrollment in these programs for either the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year, “given that many schools have been closed since mid-March 2020 due to the pandemic and students may not be enrolled in the programs” in the 2020-2021 school year.[5]  Based on the EBB Program Order, the EBB Program application and other EBB program guidance specifically identify the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years as eligible school years for purposes of qualifying for the EBB Program, but do not discuss any subsequent school years.

 

Are you ready for Digital Inclusion Week Oct 4-8?

There’s still time to plan so I wanted to share info from NDIA (National Digital Inclusion Alliance) on Digital Inclusion Week 2021…

Digital Inclusion Week is an annual campaign that recognizes local digital inclusion organizations and special events that promote digital equity across the country.

Please join us October 4-8, 2021 – this will be our biggest Digital Inclusion Week ever, with seasoned practitioners and newly launched programs hosting virtual and in-person events. DIW aims to raise awareness of solutions addressing home internet access, personal devices, and local technology training and support programs.

Here’s how it works:

  • Create or find an activity in your area that builds inclusion by providing computer training, media literacy, affordable devices, or internet access to people on the wrong side of digital divides – or builds public awareness.

  • Use the social media kit to raise awareness around the digital divide and the incredible work your community is doing to reach digital inclusion.

  • Connect with colleagues around the country to share ideas through our mailing list.

  • Use hashtags #DIW2021 and #digitalequityNOW during the week of October 4th to join the conversation and celebrate progress.

Learn more – and get resources to help!

FCC announces second ECF application window; $5.137 billion requested in first window

An announcement from the FCC…

The FCC announced  that requests for $5.137 billion in funding to support 9.1 million connected devices and 5.4 million broadband connections were received during the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program’s initial filing window.  The window, which closed August 13, 2021, attracted applicants from all 50 states, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia – including schools and libraries in both rural and urban communities seeking funding for eligible equipment and services received or delivered between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.  Additional information about the demand at the state level can be found here.

In view of outstanding demand and the recent spike in coronavirus cases, the FCC will open a second application filing window for schools and libraries to request funding from the roughly $2 billion in program funds remaining for connected devices and broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons for the current 2021-22 school year.  The second window will open on September 28 and run until October 13.  Eligible schools and libraries will be able to apply for financial support to purchase eligible equipment and services for students, school staff and library patrons with unmet needs.

ECF Demand: Minnesota

  • Amount Requested for Equipment: $50,636,008.93
  • Amount Requested for Services: $12,232,818.32
  • Total Funding Requested: $62,868,827.25

EVENT Sep 13: Deleting the Broadband Affordability Divide with FCC Acting Chair Rosenworcel

From the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIAA)

Deleting the Broadband Affordability Divide:
A Virtual Chat with FCC Acting Chair Rosenworcel

featuring a virtual discussion with FCC Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel and IIA Co-Chair Kim Keenan, along with founding IIA Connected Roundtable participants:

  • Joi Chaney, Executive Director of National Urban League’s Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy
  • Dr. Dominique Harrison, Director of Technology Policy for the Joint Center
  • Rosa Mendoza, Founder, President and CEO of ALLvanza

Monday, September 13th
10:00 a.m. ET

Ten years ago, policies to close the digital divide focused exclusively on connection. But we now know that the broadband adoption gap is approximately three times larger than the availability gap. Right now, the Federal Communications Commission is taking action to ensure that all Americans can afford to connect to the internet.

The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), a broad-based coalition supporting broadband availability and access for all Americans since 2004, invites you to hear leaders from top social justice organizations engage in a conversation with FCC Acting Chair Rosenworcel about the success of the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program and what lessons learned can be applied to modernization of the Lifeline Program. Acting Chair Rosenworcel and the Connected Roundtable will explore:

  • What the FCC did to fuel the surge in sign-ups for the EBB and whether similar strategies would increase the Lifeline participation rate from just 26% of eligible households;
  • How long the bipartisan infrastructure bill’s $14.2 billion allocated for an Affordable Connectivity benefit program, which is an extension of the EBB, might last before it runs out;
  • How local governments, private companies, community institutions and advocacy organizations can support the FCC in its mission to bridge the broadband affordability gap;
  • What Lifeline reforms could make the program a viable long-term solution to the broadband affordability challenge.

Pew Reports on the Internet and the pandemic: almost half with broadband said they had problems with speed

Pew Research reports…

Results from a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted April 12-18, 2021, reveal the extent to which people’s use of the internet has changed, their views about how helpful technology has been for them and the struggles some have faced.

The vast majority of adults (90%) say the internet has been at least important to them personally during the pandemic, the survey finds. The share who say it has been essential – 58% – is up slightly from 53% in April 2020. There have also been upticks in the shares who say the internet has been essential in the past year among those with a bachelor’s degree or more formal education, adults under 30, and those 65 and older.

A large majority of Americans (81%) also say they talked with others via video calls at some point since the pandemic’s onset. And for 40% of Americans, digital tools have taken on new relevance: They report they used technology or the internet in ways that were new or different to them. Some also sought upgrades to their service as the pandemic unfolded: 29% of broadband users did something to improve the speed, reliability or quality of their high-speed internet connection at home since the beginning of the outbreak.

They looked into the impact of the digital divide too…

Some Americans’ experiences with technology haven’t been smooth or easy during the pandemic. The digital divides related to internet use and affordability were highlighted by the pandemic and also emerged in new ways as life moved online.

For all Americans relying on screens during the pandemic, connection quality has been important for school assignments, meetings and virtual social encounters alike. The new survey highlights difficulties for some: Roughly half of those who have a high-speed internet connection at home (48%) say they have problems with the speed, reliability or quality of their home connection often or sometimes.2

Beyond that, affordability remained a persistent concern for a portion of digital tech users as the pandemic continued – about a quarter of home broadband users (26%) and smartphone owners (24%) said in the April 2021 survey that they worried a lot or some about paying their internet and cellphone bills over the next few months.

From parents of children facing the “homework gap” to Americans struggling to afford home internet, those with lower incomes have been particularly likely to struggle. At the same time, some of those with higher incomes have been affected as well.

Affordability and connection problems have hit broadband users with lower incomes especially hard. Nearly half of broadband users with lower incomes, and about a quarter of those with midrange incomes, say that as of April they were at least somewhat worried about paying their internet bill over the next few months.3 And home broadband users with lower incomes are roughly 20 points more likely to say they often or sometimes experience problems with their connection than those with relatively high incomes. Still, 55% of those with lower incomes say the internet has been essential to them personally in the pandemic.

OPPORTUNITY: Free Chromebooks for MN Families in Need

From Minnesota Afterschool Advance

Minnesota Afterschool Advance (MAA) is here to help your family get a device to assist your student’s education! By using both the K-12 Education Tax Credit and scholarship dollars from Youthprise, we’re committed to getting even more Minnesota families a Chromebook.

How can MAA help?

If your household income is under $33,500 in 2020 and 2021 and you file taxes, MAA can use a tool called the K-12 Education Tax Credit plus scholarship dollars from Youthprise to get you a Chromebook for no additional cost, plus save you 75% or more on afterschool and summer activities like tutoring, music lessons, and driver’s education. Learn more about how MAA works by watching a short animated video.

We are limited to one device per household due to tax credit rules.

How can I get a Chromebook?

  1. Apply to MAA

    The first step is to apply to MAA, so we can determine your eligibility.

    Since the computer hardware option is limited to one per family, you only need to submit an application for one eligible student, but you may apply for additional students if you want to use MAA to pay for afterschool and summer activities as well. We will generally review your application within a few business days.

  2. Select Your Chromebook

    Once approved, we will send you a special link to order your Chromebook and have it shipped to you.

  3. Receive Your Chromebook

    In most cases, shipping takes around one week or less depending on your location.

  4. Watch for Additional Instructions from MAA at the End of the Year

    MAA gets repaid by the State when you file your state income tax return at the end of the year. The Department of Revenue will directly repay the amount MAA advances to you from the Tax Credit dollars (these are additional dollars on top of your regular refund). To help with tax filing, MAA will provide instructions to assist you and also let you know about available free tax preparation services.

Is my student eligible?

For a limited time, we have expanded eligibility rules to qualify for a Chromebook!

Students are generally eligible if:

  • They are in grades K-12.

  • Your household income in 2020 and 2021 is under $33,500.

View detailed eligibility rules and guidelines.

Minnesota requests almost $63 million from FCC’s n Emergency Connectivity Fund Program

The FCC reports

The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it has received requests for $5.137 billion to fund 9.1 million connected devices and 5.4 million broadband connections as part of the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The first filing window, which closed August 13, 2021, attracted applications from all 50 states, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia – including schools and libraries in both rural and urban communities seeking funding for eligible equipment and services received or delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. In view of outstanding demand and the recent spike in coronavirus cases, the FCC will open a second application filing window for schools and libraries to request funding for connected devices and broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons for the current 2021-22 school year.

“The Emergency Connectivity Fund is the single largest effort to bring connectivity and devices to students who lack them – and this robust response from applicants shows the tremendous need in our communities. This funding is an important down payment in closing the Homework Gap so that all children, regardless of their circumstances or where they live, have access to the tools they need to succeed,” said acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “The pandemic highlighted like never before the difference a reliable internet connection can make in a student’s education, and we want to make sure that as many schools and libraries can apply for support this school year. The need is there, and the opening of a second application window reflects that. Together with the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, we are investing more than $10 billion in American students and households, so more Americans can connect, communicate, and more fully participate in modern life.”

The FCC will open the second application filing window to provide support for the current school year in light of outstanding demand, including applications that were filed after the close of the initial application filing window, and resource challenges some schools faced with a summertime application filing window. Moreover, the rise of the Delta variant means off[1]campus connectivity remains vital to ensuring students, school staff, and library patrons can engage in remote learning as they face challenges and uncertainty amidst the ongoing COVID[1]19 pandemic.

During the second application filing window, which will run from September 28 to October 13, eligible schools and libraries can apply for financial support to purchase eligible equipment and services for students, school staff and library patrons with unmet needs. The acting Chairwoman has long made closing the Homework Gap a priority during her tenure at the Commission. Recent estimates suggest there may be as many as 17 million children struggling without the broadband access they need to fully engage in remote learning.

For the first application filing window, the FCC set a target to review and issue decisions for 50% of workable applications within 60 days of the close of the application filing window and 70% of workable applications within 100 days of the close of the application filing window. The funding is available for the purchase of laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons in need, and is available to support off-campus leaning, such as homework, even if schools have returned to full time in-person instruction.

Minnesota requested: $62,868,827.25

Lunch Bunch conversation: What is basic broadband and should we be aiming for it? (Video from session)

Thanks to everyone who joined the Lunch Bunch today, especially Micah Beck, Associate Professor at University of Tennessee, Knoxville on universal basic broadband. We had all of the right people in the room, some serious engineers, policy wonks, academics and folks on the frontline of unserved communities. It was nice to spend time thinking about thoughtful ways to build networks to everyone.

Micah recognizes that broadband is expensive – especially when we are talking about high speed symmetrical service to all corners of the state, country or world. He has said that, “the Internet was never designed for “universal service” reaching every mobile device in the world at a personally affordable cost. Instead he proposes a type of broadband where information and transactions don’t happen necessarily in real time but where there’s a modern distributed storage & processing techniques to overcome delays due to distance, interruption, disaster, oversubscription. This would be a service that could support all Internet services other than “synchronous telepresence”.

We talked about the costs, local ownership, the temporal windfall of investment that’s currently happening (or about to happen). We also talked about universal broadband as a redundant tool for served and unserved areas. It came back to a familiar balance – do we want high quality or ubiquitous access? Would basic broadband be an opportunity for local communities to focus on high quality last mile networks?

There’s a hiccup preventing some people from getting Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)

Public Knowledge reports

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in our country, millions of Americans cannot connect to the internet because they can’t afford to, preventing them from going to school, working, accessing government benefits and connecting with friends and family. To remedy this problem, Congress created the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), which offers low-income consumers a $50 discount on their internet bills. Unfortunately, because of a shortcoming in the National Verifier, the database used to verify consumer eligibility for the program, many of those in need do not access this important benefit, ultimately keeping the digital divide open.

Let’s paint the picture of how. Imagine you can’t afford broadband, and learn that, because you participate in a relevant federal program (like SNAP, Medicaid, free/reduced school meals, etc.), you are eligible for the EBB. Huzzah! To apply, you are told to use the Lifeline National Verifier. The Verifier is intended to be a one-stop shop to verify consumer eligibility for the EBB based on their participation in a different federal program. The idea is that eligible consumers enter their information on the National Verifier website and are approved if the database shows they do, in fact, participate in one of the qualifying federal programs. However, the Verifier doesn’t always work that way, because it doesn’t have data about participation in all qualifying programs. So, frustratingly, if the Verifier doesn’t have data about the program you quality through, you have to go through a whole big process to get documentation that you are eligible. Since you don’t have a lot of time on your hands as the head of a household, and don’t have the internet, you never end up enrolling and stay without internet.

The article goes on to explain how this happen – in short info on the relevant federal programs is not necessarily centrally or easily accessible. That leaves the onerous task of proving need to the potential recipient, who likely has issues accessing broadband if they are applying for EBB. I can only imagine the frustration of the user who knows they get SNAP (for example) but it’s not coming up on the database. We’ve all been there when something doesn’t work online and for many the first response is to assume user error.

The author does offer a solution…

How do we solve this problem? Congress must step in by enacting legislation to require that any agencies that have data share it with USAC in a timely manner, and to clarify that data sharing for verification purposes is legal. To the extent Congress needs to exempt such data sharing from existing privacy laws, it should include that in the legislation. Such laws are intended to protect a recipient’s privacy, but are not intended to be a roadblock to participation in other benefits programs. Moreover, the data to be shared is sufficiently minimal that it does not carry with it the broader privacy risks addressed by our privacy laws. Absent Congressional action, we will be left with a patchwork system, enabling some consumers to breeze through the application process, while others cannot.

The ease of enrollment directly correlates to the number of consumers that enroll. If we want to ensure that the EBB (and any future broadband subsidy) can fulfill their purpose of getting low-income consumers connected and narrowing the digital divide, Congress must ensure that all potential participants can be automatically verified through the Verifier.

OPPORTUNITY: AmeriCorps VISTA Digital Literacy Project Proposals Request

Literacy Minnesota reports on an opportunity…

Literacy Minnesota is expanding our AmeriCorps VISTA program nationally with a focus on digital literacy.
If you are interested in applying, please fill out this form for more information.  We seek proposals from government agencies, nonprofits and Tribal Nations interested in hosting one or more full-time AmeriCorps VISTA member to support digital literacy programs and services for low-income communities.
Additional information has also been pasted below.  The expansion and focus on digital literacy are informed by Literacy Minnesota’s core value of leadership and innovation, and we welcome the opportunity to work together.  Thank you for your consideration.
The Request for Proposals is attached and linked, here.  Please contact Meghan Paul-Cook, National Service Director (mpaulcook@literacymn.org; 651-251-9069) with any questions or to discuss project ideas.

  • Host site applications due online by October 1, 2021.
  • Literacy Leader VISTA members will start their service in January 2022.
  • Check out our website for more information: www.literacymn.org/americorps-vista.

Build capacity and invest in emerging leadership by hosting a Literacy Leader.
Literacy Minnesota seeks proposals from nonprofits, public agencies and Tribal Nations anywhere in the United States interested in hosting one or more full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members with our Literacy Leadership program’s Digital Literacy cohort in the 2021-22 program year. A Literacy Leadership VISTA enables your organization to turn a dream project into a reality, and to launch new, expand or improve digital literacy programs and services for low-income individuals and communities. Literacy Leaders receive a modest living allowance, Education Award, healthcare allowance, training and professional development, and other benefits.

EVENT: Aug 25 Lunch Bunch conversation: What is basic broadband and should we be aiming for it?

Each month the Blandin Foundation hosts two conversation or lunch bunch sessions; on the second Wednesday of the month the focus is Infrastructure and on the fourth the focus is Digital Inclusion and Use.

On August 25, I propose a conversation with Micah Beck, Associate Professor at University of Tennessee, Knoxville on basic broadband. I think it will be an interesting discussion I hope you will join with all of your experience trying to get usable broadband for your community or in your house.

Micah recognizes that broadband is expensive – especially when we are talking about high speed symmetrical service to all corners of the state, country or world. He has said that, “the Internet was never designed for “universal service” reaching every mobile device in the world at a personally affordable cost. Instead he proposes a type of broadband where information and transactions don’t happen necessarily in real time but where there’s a modern distributed storage & processing techniques to overcome delays due to distance, interruption, disaster, oversubscription. This would be a service that could support all Internet services other than “synchronous telepresence”.

Micah has a few articles that might help make his case. First is a school girl in Northern India who was sent home during the pandemic. She didn’t have access to broadband. (This may sound familiar.) A delayed internet access might have better served her than nothing. The other article aligns – Inclusive Broadband Connectivity Is Within Our Reach with that ethos.

I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure I’m sold on the idea but my high schooler (in St Paul) was able to access broadband during the pandemic. And her sisters are coming home from Winnipeg to finish their degrees remotely this semester. We’d love to have some folks who were left in the cold or using paper packets or parking outside the McDonald’s to get their own work done chime in on the topic.

Register here.