Possible solutions to Dallas's internet access problem

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Thousands of Dallas students still don’t have access to reliable internet even after a year and a half of depending on online connections to keep learning. While the city turned to wireless hotspots for expanded broadband access in the early months of the pandemic, they were often unreliable and became expensive as time went on. Now the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) is exploring two potential solutions as a more permanent fix to the digital gulf that has plagued Dallas since the internet was invented: expanding infrastructure throughout the district to broaden the reach of existing Wi-Fi networks and using federal money to bulk-buy internet subscriptions for families in need. Public officials across Texas say they’re committed to better access, as a new law requiring the state to craft a plan to expand broadband access and create an office to oversee the work passed with widespread approval from Republicans and Democrats in the last legislative session. Overall, a number of different plans are being considered city officials and the city and district expect to publish a draft plan by mid-July 2021 that will guide their efforts.

Many Dallas families still don’t have reliable internet. Here are some possible solutions