NEW YORK (AP) — The shutdowns of schools, workplaces and public institutions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating the problems of the millions of people in the U.S. who can't easily get online.

While more people have been connected in recent years, tens of millions still lack access to high-speed internet because phone and cable companies hesitate to invest in far-flung rural areas.

Many more Americans simply can't afford it.

Teachers and students worry about how they will keep up with schoolwork without reliable home internet.

Small-business owners are at a loss. Local politicians are concerned about losing touch with their constituents.

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