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As I See It

Coronavirus should bring end to Wisconsin’s digital divide

Scott Robert Shaw

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These days, trying to get by without a computer or another connection to the internet can be extremely difficult. You need access to the world wide web to do just about anything. Many are working from home. All those Zoom meetings. Many schools are providing instruction online. Even some doctor’s visits have gone virtual amid the pandemic. It is making our connection to the internet more important than ever. But in Wisconsin, not everyone has access to broadband internet. In fact, Wisconsin ranks 30th in the country in broadband internet access. In some of the most remote parts of the state, fewer than 50% of residents have a solid internet connection. That includes Clark, Forest, Taylor and Waushara counties. It puts those residents at a disadvantage when they are trying to attend classes, or hold virtual meetings or do just about anything.  Some students have had to park in library parking lots to find a hotspot to complete their homework. That is why it is good that Governor Tony Evers is working to ensure everyone in the state can be connected online. He has convened a task force to work to end the broadband disparity. With Covid 19 changing the way we learn, work and live it is time to end Wisconsin’s digital divide.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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