Access to broadband internet improves COVID-19 outcomes, research shows

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Jul 20, 2022

Not having high-speed internet could be risky for your health as Tufts University research shows people living in counties with broadband access are less likely to die from COVID-19.

“An important factor here is the quality of information that you get access to,” said Bhaskar Chakravorti, a Tufts University researcher. “Your ability to cross-check information increases when you have a lean forward wire line broadband connection."

Only 76% of the country has broadband access. Even fewer people actually use it.

People with broadband access can use Zoom on their computer and quickly research information, while people without broadband tend to rely on their phones for communication.

“If you are primarily getting information on the phone, you don't get good information as to is the vaccine in my neighborhood,” Chakravorti said. “ Is that a CVS nearby?”

The Biden administration has set aside $65 billion for internet access, much of it for rural areas.

“Money from the public sector is important, but I also believe that there is a role here for the private sector,” Chakravorti said. “What I would ask our public officials is to go out and form public-private partnerships to close the gap and not try to do this all on their own.”