Superintendent Doug Straley pictured with one of the Wireless on Wheels (WoW!) units. (Photo: Louisa County Public Schools) A few times a week, Daphne MacDougall and her three kids pile into the car and head for the Holly Grove Christian Church, about two miles from their home in southeast Louisa County, Virginia. The family sits in the gravel parking lot, flanked by fields, a few houses and patches of trees, and logs onto the internet. The signal comes from a trailer cart parked at the edge of the lot, which is equipped with a cellular hotspot running on solar power. For MacDougall’s family, the hotspot provides a reprieve from the satellite internet service they have at home, which can be spotty even for small tasks like checking email — and forget about streaming videos or watching Netflix. “It works sometimes. It’s not extremely reliable — like, we can’t count on it,” MacDougall said of her home internet service. “And especially since the pandemic, in March, when people started working and schooling from home, the service is way overloaded.” In this rural part of the state nestled between Richmond, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg, access to reliable broadband internet is out of […]


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