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The following is an excerpt from an opinion piece by digiLEARN founder Bev Perdue that originally appeared on wral.com. For the full piece, click here.

Technology is no longer an extra but an essential, as fundamental as electricity or water for our schools, homes and businesses. As 1.1 million North Carolina K-12 students begin fully remote or blended learning as a result of COVID-19, it is time to invest in technology infrastructure to close the digital divide, stop COVID slide and encourage full economic recovery for our state.

North Carolina has always been a leader in connecting our residents to broadband. Two years ago, we became the first state in the country to connect every public K-12 classroom to high-speed broadband when the state paid for unlimited broadband in our schools.

Now, I call on state leaders and our national leaders in Congress to continue the state’s leadership by investing in technology infrastructure, including broadband access for all North Carolinians.

Read more.