The Marion County Public Library works to bring a slight solution to broadband problem

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:25 PM EST
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - There have been constant complaints about the lack of broadband throughout West Virginia and state officials have been working to better internet accessibility.

With a map that’s almost completely red and the surge in COVID-19 cases only continuing to rise, the Marion County library is providing a new service as more are working or learning from home.

“We wanted to make sure people could still access information,” said the Director of Marion County Library Larissa Cason.

They’re providing 10 sprint mobile hotspots to checkout at the different libraries in the county for up to seven days.

Cason says this was something they realized the community could benefit from.

“Since people were working and doing schoolwork from home, there was a need to be able to provide many different kinds of access to the internet,” Cason said.

The U.S. Census says over 84% of Marion County households have computers, but only 78% have broadband internet access.

“I know there are pockets in the county that do not have good internet access,” continued Cason.

This has continued to affect students while participating in virtual or remote learning systems. The WVDOE stated that this creates unequal access to equitable education because of the limited broadband statewide. This then results in students falling behind or failing classes.

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