COVID-19 makes Internet access more important

By Emily Hunt-Hinojosa 

Internet access has become a critical part of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for distance learning, working from home, and telehealth has risen, but about 20 percent of Waco households lack Internet access.

Some parts of our community are more likely to have internet subscriptions than others. According to the American Community Survey (2018), 49.2% of households within the 76704 Zip Code did not have an internet subscription, compared to 13.4% in 76712.

Without Internet access, adults and children may have great difficulty in carrying out their work and education, as well as connecting with doctors during this pandemic.

You can explore the data yourself through Prosper Waco’s new community data portal, WacoRoundTable.org. At the website, click on “Let’s Explore” under the Discover Community Data header on the splash screen. This takes you to what is called the Map Home Page. Click on “Education” or “Health” under topic and “No Internet Access” under indicator.

Under Geography Type, select “ZIP Code” or “Census Tract” to look more closely at your part of the community or another area of our county.

Emily Hunt-Hinojosa is director of research and community impact at Prosper Waco. She is responsible for evaluating progress toward community goals in the areas of education, health, and financial security. Dr. Hunt-Hinojosa holds an Associate Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, where she was employed prior to joining Prosper Waco. She holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Sociology at Baylor University, as well as both a master’s in higher education and student Affairs and a bachelor’s in social studies education from Taylor University.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.orgfor more information.

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