eKnox is a task force working to create more options toward the goal of achieving 100 percent broadband connectivity for every household in the Knoxville MSA.
In the near term, the task force has focused on developing an emergency Internet access plan for students in Knox County in the event virtual learning is required.
Why Is It Needed
Knox County Schools became a 1:1 district beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. In order to maximize technology and prepare for potential disruptions in in-person learning, every household is encouraged to secure Internet access.
Estimates show that 15 percent of 40,000 Knox County Schools households (6,000) do not currently have wired Internet service.
2 percent (800 households) do not have access to any wired service and would need to be serviced by hotspots.
The task force, in partnership with service providers and Knox County Schools, estimates that $600,000 is needed to make broadband access a reality for all students this year.
Knox County, the City of Knoxville and United Way have pledged a combined $350,000 towards this effort. The remaining balance must come from private sector partners and individual donors.
Knox Education Foundation, formerly Great Schools Partnership, is accepting funding from private donors.