Your cable is out and you want the technician to arrive and help you? That might not be possible right now. Due to the coronavirus and social distancing directives, cable firms will still send out a technician as a last resort, but they might not enter your home. Cox Cable, which serves 19 states across the US, has stopped sending people for in-home visits, and instead has begun doing smartphone video conferences with customers, sometimes even from the truck outside their home, to troubleshoot. Verizon has also stopped routinely sending technicians to the home.
Gov Bill Lee (R-TN) and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced $19.7 million in broadband accessibility grants that will expand service to support 31,000 unserved Tennesseans in nearly 12,700 households and businesses. Grantees will provide $29.8 million in matching funds to complete the projects for a combined investment of $49.5 million across the state in this third year of the program. Infrastructure should be built out with customers able to sign up for service within two years of receiving the grant funds.
Corey Shepherd teaches fifth graders in rural Alaska in a school district the size of Indiana. The terrain there is so rural that only airplanes and snowmobiles connect the district’s 11 tiny villages. Shepherd is one of more than 7,000 teachers in her state trying to make the most of teaching her students since the governor closed schools to in-person learning to stop the spread of the coronavirus. One method she isn’t relying on: online learning. “Around half of my students have access to the internet on some device at home,” Shepherd said.