Qualcomm’s Dean Brenner and Alice Tornquist discuss funding connectivity and devices for students

The developing COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to the global economy and upended day-to-day life as we all become accustomed to the new normal–widespread working from home, business closures, social distancing measures, and school closures. To that last point, teachers and school districts are scrambling to make the most of remote learning opportunities but there remains a foundational stumbling block–not all students have access to a broadband connection and the device(s) needed to engage with educational professionals, access materials and complete coursework.

Qualcomm SVP of Spectrum Strategy and Technology Policy Dean Brenner and Alice Tornquist, vice president of government affairs, discussed this “emergency” situation in a recent interview with RCR Wireless News.

Brenner described what’s happening as a “pressing, emergency crisis” and said he and Tornquist have been generally working on the issue at a policy level for a decade.

“It was always a good idea to ensure that all school children have connectivity and have a device so they can do their homework from home even in houses that don’t have home broadband. That was always a good idea. Now it’s a necessity. Now it’s an absolute crisis and kids all over the country, we have tens of millions of kids whose schools are closed, and it’s really incumbent on the federal government to address this crisis by providing funding to schools as soon as possible so schools can ensure that all the kids in each school have connectivity and have devices. It’s really not a tenable situation in a school to have some kids who can work from home and learn remotely and other kids who can’t. That’s not the way schools works; that not the way education works.”

To hear the full interview with Brenner and Tornquist, listen to this bonus episode of “Will 5G Change the World,” the podcast where I engage with a wide variety of industry experts to answer that important question and look at some of the key trends shaping 5G development and adoption.

The post COVID-19 makes homework gap an ’emergency,’ policy pros say appeared first on RCR Wireless News.


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