A library hotspot lending program was popular with low and middle income Tennessee residents. The primary uses of broadband during the COVID-19 pandemic were for school work, connecting with family, conducting research and entertainment purposes. Residents used the program to access broadband when faced with a lack of reliable local broadband service or high-cost subscription plans. The Community Capitals Framework can be used as a strategy to address digital divide and improve broadband access for underserved communities that wish to replicate or expand similar programs. COVID-19 pandemic notably had a negative impact on work productivity and children’s academic performance.


Southern Rural Development Center

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Southern Rural Development Center


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