Reliable high speed internet at home is something many people take for granted, but in some areas in Watauga County, broadband internet is not readily available.

Watauga County Schools recently received a grant from the 1Million Project that will allow WCS students without home internet access to get a wireless cellular hotspot-free of charge-that provides a high speed internet connection over the cellular network. Watauga County Schools provides computers to every student in eighth through twelfth grade to take home, and students were polled about their level of internet access at the start of the school year as their computers were issued. More than 100 high schoolers indicated they did not have broadband access in their home. 

Technology Director Nancy Zeiss led the effort to bring the 1Million Project grant to the system and said ensuring student’s access to high speed internet was vital to a modern education. Watauga High School will hold an information session at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27 in the WHS auditorium for families who indicated interest in receiving a hotspot. The meeting will provide an overview of the program and allow interested students to sign up for a device. The hope is to have them in students' hands in early September.