We are delighted to share with you a video project the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium undertook to highlight the state of broadband in the Central Valley — “Pursuing the Last Mile: Broadband in the Central Valley.” This three-minute video highlights three students’ personal struggles related to an inability to access reliable internet and also shines a light on their perseverance to reach their academic goals.
In the video, West Hills Community College District Chancellor Dr. Stuart Van Horn provides his insight on the Central Valley’s broadband disparity and the reality of students’ struggles to reach academic goals, work through remote learning, and navigate around the lack of affordable reliable internet connection.
“Students in the Central Valley have the opportunity to become far more than they ever thought, we just need to deliver the technology that helps them get there,” Van Horn said. “What we need are solutions, if we truly believe that equity is what’s going to make California competitive in a global marketplace.”
To improve the Central Valley’s degree attainment rates, students must be able to access reliable and affordable broadband. Our hope is that the California Legislature and the federal government consider the Central Valley story in building the last mile of broadband infrastructure that has been lacking and is creating even greater disparity.
As fall plans begin to emerge, a hybrid learning/work environment will likely be a reality. To ensure our Central Valley is afforded the same opportunities as the rest of California, the last mile of broadband infrastructure cannot wait.