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Albemarle BOS Discusses Expanding Internet Access - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle BOS Discusses Expanding Internet Access

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If you live in Albemarle County and you do not have access to broadband Internet, your wait may soon be over.

The county's Board of Supervisors met Wednesday to discuss the possibility of expanding Internet access to everyone. Currently, thousands of people who live in Albemarle don't have access to basic Internet or cable. Supervisor Duane Snow says emails and letters he has received have helped bring this issue to the table.

One of the main issues is what experts call the digital divide. Broadband access is linked to a higher quality of life, leaving those without it at a disadvantage.

The county school's information officer says this plays a large factor in student development.

"The school division has a mantra that ‘all means all.' So we want all students to have access to all the same resources and materials because we know, just like broadband access is a quality-of-life indicator, so is education, and we want to be able to provide the highest-quality education to our students," said Vince Scheivert, chief information officer for Albemarle County Public Schools.

Scheivert himself lives in a part of the county without broadband access, and he worries about the disadvantage for his family. He says schools are already investigating a way to work through cellular towers to solve this problem.

The board has not yet set a date, but members have agreed to hold a roundtable meeting with representatives of Internet providers.

Snow said the board's goal is to draw county representatives, including those from the schools, into a unified effort to make this goal a reality.

Reported by Rob Manch

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