As COVID-19 pushes classes online, some students are caught in the broadband gap

Image: Alex Castro / The Verge

As COVID-19 spreads within the United States and across the globe, public health officials are calling for fewer public gatherings — which is pushing many activities online. The issue is particularly severe for schools, where the risk of spreading the disease is high. But as many US schools try to shift to online lesson plans, they’re running into the limitations of our threadbare broadband networks, which leave many students unable to connect to their new online classrooms.

For school officials across the world, there’s little time left to prepare. Earlier this week, the United Nations reported that 22 countries across three continents have already started closing schools as a result of novel coronavirus outbreaks. That means nearly 300…

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