FCC Commissioner to host Town Hall in Marietta to discuss lack of rural Internet access

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MARIETTA, Ohio - Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will host a public Town Hall meeting in Marietta to discuss the lack of affordable, high-speed broadband Internet in the Mid-Ohio Valley's rural communities.

The meeting will take place at 6:00 P.M. on July 18, at Marietta High School.

Clyburn's stop in Marietta is part of her Nationwide tour: "Connecting Communities: Bridging the Communications and Opportunities Divide.”

The FCC Commissioner will discuss the problems and challenges businesses, students, parents, and other people in rural areas face because of poor-quality or non-existent Internet access.

According to the FCC, in rural communities around the country, nearly a fourth of the population – more than 14 million people – lacks access to affordable, high-speed internet service, and this negatively affects Appalachian youth with what experts call the "homework gap," because so many homework assignments and school projects require Internet access.

The Town Hall format will be informal, with Commissioner Clyburn addressing the audience and then listening to those who have connectivity issues, concerns and complaints. She has been a champion of widening broadband connectivity nationwide, and she hopes to hear from residents, business owners, school administrators, town council members, health-care workers, and anyone else who wants to share their story.

If you have a story you’d like to share in advance of the event, please contact the town hall organizers at ohio.summit@ruralstrategies.org or 740-274-1146.

The town hall will cap a day of workshops and panels in which county officials and community leaders from across Appalachia brainstorm ways to get their communities connected. For more information on either the summit or town hall, go to www.ruralassembly.org/broadband-marietta.

For additional information about the town hall, contact the organizers at ohio.summit@ruralstrategies.org or 740-274-1146.

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