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New WiFi map, free tech support to help Arizona students access internet

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Secretary of State Office on Thursday announced a new WiFi map and free tech support hotline to help Arizona students access the internet through open hotspots for virtual learning.

The locations of the free WiFi hotspots will be spread out across the state in places such as public libraries, schools, internet providers and community organizations.

Connect Arizona’s website, which is available in both English and Spanish, will offer training on how to access a hotspot, a free tech support hotline and information on discounts from internet providers around the state.

According to a press release, rural communities and homes with Black, Latino and Native American students face greater challenges when it comes to online learning.

In Arizona, 30% of students lack high-speed internet access and over 220,000 don’t have access to the proper devices, according to Common Sense Media.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order keeps Arizona schools closed to in-person learning until at least Aug. 17.

However, most schools across the state have either started online or plan on starting in a remote capacity this week.

Some school districts have already made the decision to mandate online learning through the first quarter of their respective academic calendars.

The expansion of new and free internet access resources are being made available by a collaboration between School Connect, Common Sense Media, the AZ Broadband Stakeholder Network and the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.

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