The problem with WiFi and rural areas

Limited availability to WiFi is becoming more of a problem as school starts up again in countryside communities



Mike Jokisch, the school’s IT expert, helping a student fix some issues with their chromebook.

As school starts up again with both online and face-to-face classes available to students, an issue that affects everyone, especially online students, has become more apparent.

Students have come to rely on WiFi for schoolwork, highlighted by the fact that the majority of both in-class work and homework is done online. Recent events have shown that not having reliable WiFi is causing issues with schoolwork.

“I do have WiFi, but it’s not working right now,” Shailynn Walker 11 said. “Since Labor day nothing has worked, which is the worst experience,” She explains. “Even the hotspot from school doesn’t work.”

Online classes have been rough for students with WiFi issues, hampering their schoolwork and causing them to be kicked out of google meets. Students who don’t have available WiFi have to go to school and use the hotspot there, which, apparently, has not been working too well. “I can’t work on yearbook pages because it’s not showing up for my hotspot,” Walker said.

While many students are switching from online to face-to-face, the issues remain, affecting students whether they are online or not. 

These issues highlight the fact that people, not only students, in rural areas have limited access to reliable WiFi at home, work and at school. In this age of technology, access to reliable internet is vitally important if one wants to get a good education and succeed. 

“Everyone does need WiFi in order to be successful now, because of what we are going through and we don’t know when this is going to end,” Walker said. “It’s really all unknown.”

Compared to more populated areas, like New York City or Detroit, Stockbridge does not have as many WiFi providers. New York City has 29 WiFi providers, Detroit has around 23 providers and Stockbridge has at least 13.

“In certain areas with my phone I don’t get service, so I would imagine that in those areas certain WiFi doesn’t work either and certain WiFi only works there,” Walker said. “It’s very hard if you don’t have much money and the cheap WiFi doesn’t work where you are and the expensive WiFi does, so it is very hard and very frustrating when it comes to that stuff.”