Beaufort Co. trying to bridge the gap with internet access for rural areas

Beaufort Co. trying to bridge the gap with internet access for rural areas

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - Beaufort County is looking to bridge the education gap by offering internet access to those students and their families who live in more rural parts of the county.

Meet Kajeet. It's simply a mobile hot-spot or wireless internet device, but the Beaufort County Library System is hoping this little device will help the hundreds of students living in rural areas access the internet

"In some areas it's over 10 miles to the nearest Wi-Fi hot spot and/or they can't afford internet access, so we want the school children in this county to be able to do their homework since it's so important to do it online," said Beaufort County Library System Director Ray McBride.

The devices will give households wireless access to the internet. The library says it costs about $7,000 for ten, but that includes the devices and one year's worth of internet service.

"A lot of these children may be left behind in school because they can't complete those assignments at home because they don't have that access. Hopefully this will bridge that gap and allow those students to catch up to their contemporaries who do have the access at home," said McBride.

The program will introduce 10 households, identified by the Beaufort County School District, to the devices first as part of its rollout. Those devices will be funded by the library system's budget.

If the program is successful more households could be added next year.

Copyright 2016 WTOC. All rights reserved.