Fiscal Year 2024 → Question 1
Broadband access is based on multiple internet providers and their changing scope of service. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) does not have an aggregated map including the areas of coverage for each service provider, but stays in close communication with the Montgomery County government to better understand coverage of internet services. Even when communities have access to Broadband connectivity, some of our families are not able to afford or choose not to prioritize purchasing Internet services in their household. This creates a digital divide between students who have access to Broadband Internet resources beyond the school day and those who do not. To mitigate this digital divide and ensure MCPS families have Internet connectivity, MCPS purchased more than 12,000 hotspots. As families move in and out of need, they can request a mobile hotspot for use. When families no longer need assistance to internet access, they can return the hotspots so the devices may be available to others. Families across all areas have access to these devices, but primarily are focused in the Clarksburg, Downcounty Consortium, Gaithersburg, and Germantown areas.