COVID-19 highlights inequality of internet access in colonias

News

SAN JUAN – Officials with La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) said when shelter in place orders went into effect, the phones rang with concerned parents, who struggled to find an internet connection.

“They are really worried they will get behind in their learning, because they feel like they have the ability for the children to have a good internet.” says Martha Sanchez, Community Organizing Coordinator, LUPE.

Sanchez says there are two main issues when it comes to the problem. One is accessibility.

“In some places its very rare to find it, like if you live north in the colonias north of 107 its really hard to get a signal even with Wi-Fi, it just breaks off they don’t have no ability.” says Sanchez.

The other problem Sanchez says is affordability.

“The few people who are able to get the internet it’s super expensive, because it’s not very common in the colonias and so a lot of people can’t afford to pay that.” says Sanchez.

Sanchez adds if you are able to afford it, often the quality is not good. To raise awareness of the issue LUPE launched a signature campaign, Tuesday afternoon, via Zoom.

Once they finish the campaign they will take the signatures to lawmakers, who they hope will take action.

“It’s a huge problem and it’s not just going to be the legislators by themselves, it’s not going to be the families by themselves, the students by themselves. I think that everybody is going to have to come together to create a solution.” says Sanchez.

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