Chicago Tribune

Upgrading the internet in public schools means investing tens of millions — and tearing up streets across Chicago

An $84 million plan to boost internet speeds at Chicago Public Schools has stalled again, officials say, because of red tape in securing construction permits from the city. For several months, crews have been ripping up streets to build a new high-speed fiber network.

Rural America doesn’t have good broadband — and needs it

The all-out push in Congress to pass a historic infrastructure bill offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring high-speed internet to unconnected rural areas. It’s a watershed moment for rural America, one that could turbocharge economic development and help reverse long-standing health and education challenges.

900 children in suburban Cook County public housing to get free laptops as remote learning continues to present digital barriers

Hundreds of school-age children in suburban Cook County (IL)  public housing will get free laptops paid for by federal coronavirus stimulus money starting Oct 7, as part of an ongoing effort to ensure digital access after the COVID-19 pandemic upended in-person learning. About $270,000 of CARES Act money allocated to the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) will be used to purchase laptops for 900 students who live in the public housing complexes to keep and otherwise would struggle to complete remote learning.

Families in suburban Cook County public housing to get free internet in Comcast program funded by federal CARES Act dollars

All families with school-age children in suburban Cook County in Chicago public housing buildings will be eligible for free broadband internet under a program funded through federal coronavirus stimulus money.

Slow internet? How digital redlining hurts people of all ages

As schools now explore virtual education and hospitals expand to digital platforms as viable and safe options during the time of COVID-19, the focus on adequate internet access has moved to center stage. In 2018, rural North Dakota residents had access to better internet service than residents of Englewood in Chicago. A recent report showed that in some parts of Chicago, as many as half of children lack the necessary access to broadband needed to engage in the online educational activities expected of them during the COVID-19 academic disruption.