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Improving internet access for students in Vernon Parish

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 7:05 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Students in Vernon Parish are preparing for the first day of school, and internet access is critical.

"The next level is what can we do to provide more access across the parish," Bill Lohman, the technology administrator for the Vernon Parish School Board, said.

Lohman started thinking of a solution to this problem as soon as the pandemic hit. Now, he's trying to create a partnership between the Vernon Parish School Board and Vernon Parish Chamber Commerce.

“We would have no problem providing the WiFi access for a Vernon Parish student or their family, to come here to our parking lot,” Logan Morris, the president of the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce said. “To turn in their assignments that maybe happening from distance learning.”

The address to Morris's business is 400 S. 6th Street, Leesville, LA.

Morris hopes other businesses will follow his example and make their WiFi available to students in need.

"Our goal is we will be able to provide a hotspot at least within five miles of each school," Morris said. "I know that Mr. Lohman and the school board are doing everything they can."

The school board and the chamber will also be working with government officials to expand internet access.

"We are going to try to rally the troops," Morris said. "Work with the legislature, work with the federal government and the FCC and figure out how we might be able to get that done."

If students do not have anywhere to go, they can always access the internet in their school parking lot.

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