Audra Brown stands on her front porch holding her 2–year–old granddaughter, Toya. Her four grandsons are inside their home in the Buckeye Trail public housing community in South Dallas’ Bonton neighborhood. 

“They are playing on their tablets,” Brown says. “Just some games that the tablet came with.” 

In the spring, as COVID-19 began to spread, the boys’ school, J.J. Rhoads Learning Center, pivoted to virtual learning. Brown didn’t want her grandsons to get behind in school, so she started paying $46 a month to AT&T for broadband. But she couldn’t afford to keep it up. 

“I got behind on a couple of bills so I feel like the internet can hold off,” Brown explains. “We pay lights and rent and I don’t want to get behind on nothing.”

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