HIGHER EDUCATION


1/10/2018 9:01pm

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Lack of broadband access creates additional obstacles for students

One Christmas, Elly Sprinkle and her sister drove with their father to the public library in Stokes County, North Carolina, where they used the library's WiFi to set up their new iPods while sitting in the parking lot.  Sprinkle, a UNC junior, grew up without access to high-speed, broadband internet at her father’s house — like 7 percent of the North Carolina population. The majority of the population without internet is in rural counties in the far western or eastern parts of the state. The term broadband generally refers to high-speed internet connection that is available at all times, but can be expanded to include digital subscriber lines, satellite, fiber or cable connections. While wireless data plans are becoming more readily available through phone providers, most analyses focus on wireline internet in their descriptions of broadband access. In many areas where broadband is technically available, lack of competition between providers makes internet too expensive for many to afford. Twelve percent of the North Carolina population has access to fewer than two providers. 


11/28/2017 7:09pm

Lloyd Williams stands in front of a robot. Williams is a computer science professor at Shaw University working to diversify his field. Photo courtesy of Williams.

Q&A with Shaw University professor about diversity in computer science

Shaw University Professor Lloyd Williams is trying to bring diversity into computer science — an industry disproportionately dominated by white or Asian-American men. He’s doing so by bringing innovation to the classroom at Shaw University, a historically black college in Raleigh. Staff Writer Ryan Smoot asked Williams about how he is trying to change perceptions of programming.