Commentary: Lack of internet limits students in rural Delaware

By Diane Eastburn

This should be a wake-up call to our Delaware legislators!

Students paying for college courses who live in more rural areas in Delaware may not be able to take the online classes, because YOU failed to require rural areas be provided with high speed Internet from Verizon or Comcast. You have sat on your butts and done nothing about rural areas with little-to-no options for Internet.

Now, kids trying to make a better life will sadly be impacted by your lack of action over the past 10 years.

 5G Is coming, and yet I have no internet running down my road! Parents on my street can’t take advantage of low-income school Internet for their kids, or even pay full price.

In the next few years 5G will become available to many, while others can’t even get online. Try calling a state agency to get a form mailed: They say they are available online.

Yes, I am forced to resort to Internet through my home telephone line. Half the time my phone line is so wet all we get is static! Too bad AOL took away all that odd noise we used to get while connecting. 

In a time when Covid-19 is going to be keeping more people home, by not having Internet access we are put at greater risk. Our risk becomes your risk. If people can’t get the information from the state as to what to do,  they will go into public areas not knowing what to do because access to information is just not available.  Take heed, your inaction over the years may just cause the loss of life now. 

We need urgent legislation making high speed Internet available to every resident in the state before you allow another rate increase, or allow any upgrades to those who already have service.

First, it was college-level schools and a handful of charter schools to close their doors. Now that public schools have closed, we have thousands of kids unable to go online for class information. This is 100% your fault!

Emergency action needs to be taken. This action is too late for this pandemic, however, it will give access to information for the next serious crisis our state faces!

Diane EastburnĀ is a resident of Clayton.