Coronavirus: Students face digital divide as schools turn to remote learning amid COVID-19 outbreak - interactive

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With schools closed around the Bay Area due to COVID-19, most students are learning at home, but not everyone has access to high-speed internet or even a computer.
"I'm Nathaniel and I'm 10 years old and this is the first day of home school or remote learning."

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Nathaniel G. is one of the children across the Bay Area transforming their homes into schools for the foreseeable future as the region attempts to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Some of the work doesn't require a computer but much of it does.

According to US 2018 Census Data, across the Bay Area, about 15% of households don't have high-speed internet access required to stream videos -- 4% don't have a computer. Together, that's more than 1 million families whose kids might not have access to reliable online learning tools. Rural areas have even more households without high speed internet.


Want to see internet and computer access by school district in a larger window? Click here

"It's going to be at least three or four weeks of this," said Nathaniel G.

Which is why that access is so critical right now.

"Very excited that we can offer internet access to those who may not have it," said Joan Hammel who is Senior Director of External Communications for Comcast in California.

Comcast has taken several steps to make sure every child has access from free public Xfinity Wifi hotspots to unlimited data to all customers for the next 60 days, no disconnects or late fees and FREE internet essentials for new customers for 60 days at increased speeds.

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"We're all in this together and that's a key part of how we want to operate. We're trying to show up as best as we can in our communities for our customers and certainly for our employees as well," said Hammel.

As children adjust to learning at home... "It's really fun to be able to do sort of do what you want in PE but also it's really hard not being with my PE teacher and all my friends," said Nathaniel G.

Access to the tools and resources they need hopefully won't be something that hinders their growth.

ABC7 News has a dedicated learning resources page but most of the resources require high speed internet. To see the page click here.

ABC7 News is looking for more options, share your ideas with us on what you are doing to maintain learning at home.

Go here for the latest news, information and videos about the coronavirus.

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