With more Arkansans working and learning remotely in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, the issue of broadband access has become increasingly relevant. Yet as broadband access becomes more necessary to normal modern life, there is growing concern about a digital divide, whereby some areas are cut off from opportunities for distance learning and economic development by a lack of adequate broadband service. Those with lower incomes and people living in rural areas are particularly likely to face digital obstacles when trying to do schoolwork at home during the Covid-19 outbreak.
That is why House and Senate leadership recently made a request to the CARES Act Steering Committee to transfer $100 million of CARES Act funding to the Arkansas Rural Connect Program (ARC). The committee agreed with the recommendation and the measure was ultimately approved by the Arkansas Legislative Council.
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