Slow and steadily trying to reconnect a struggling W.Va.county - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Slow and steadily trying to reconnect a struggling W.Va.county

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Supporters of the Reconnecting McDowell initiative say they expect a $9.7 million investment in new Internet connections to eventually pay dividends in the struggling school system.

Organizers of the public-private partnership to improve life in one of West Virginia's most economically depressed counties acknowledge that the investments so far may not be visible to most residents.

But they tell the Charleston Daily Mail that Shentel Communications put in a system that could let 10,000 homes get online. It's part of a larger statewide broadband program that Assistant Superintendent Carolyn Falin says is already noticeable in schools.

She says it's too soon to tell if it will improve academic performance, but she believes it will.

Many students can now work online at home and are teaching their parents about technology.

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