Digital Divide

The gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all.

In rural Oklahoma, a Wi-Fi hot spot brings a dash of hope and excitement

The parking lot of Free Pentecostal Holiness Church in the historic town of Tatums (OK) is a little busier these days. The grassy areas on either side of the small, white building now serve as the town's main Wi-Fi hot spot. People in cars parked outside the church's doors can access broadband internet, which isn't common or cheap in the town of about 160.

Cisco To Install Public Wi-Fi At Arizona Libraries

Cisco is partnering with the State of Arizona to expand Wi-Fi internet access to high-need communities across the state.

Digital Equity in Education in the Coronavirus Era

Illinois state and local officials are requiring the use of online instruction to effectively implement remote learning plans, but the “homework gap”—that is, the barrier that students face at school when they don’t have access1 to a broadband internet connection at home—disproportionately plagues Chicago’s low-income families and people of color. About 1 in 5 children under the age of eighteen lack access to broadband, and are primarily Black or Latino. With COVID-19 forcing school districts to adopt remote learning for the remainder of the school year, the students who were already the mo

Bi-Partisan Delegation Introduces Universal Broadband Act

Reps Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Don Young (R-AK) -- with the bipartisan support of T.J.

While More Americans Rely on Parking Lot Wi-Fi, Many Public Libraries Do Not Have Adequate Broadband

Many digital equity advocates applauded the Federal Communications Commission’s recent clarification explicitly allowing public schools and libraries to let their communities access E-Rate-supported Wi-Fi services while their buildings are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State, Local Government Face New Reality for 2020 U.S. Census

Stakeholders at all levels of government — federal, state, and local — are pivoting to stay flexible and get creative around the Census amid an unprecedented set of new challenges. While increasing online outreach is helpful to some, it’s also problematic in a place like Detroit, where many residents are on the challenging side of the digital divide, without access to technology or a reliable high-speed Internet connection at home.

How Local Providers Built the Nation's Best Internet Access in Rural North Dakota

Rural North Dakotans are more likely to have access to fiber connectivity and gigabit-speed Internet than those living in urban areas. This case study highlights the efforts of 15 local companies and telephone cooperatives who came together to invest in rural North Dakota and build gigabit fiber networks across the state. Their success is traced back to the companies’ acquisition of 68 rural telephone exchanges from monpoloy provider US West (now CenturyLink) in the 1990s.

Why Rural America’s Digital Divide Persists

A Q&A with New York Times technology reporter Cecilia Kang. 

Coronavirus crisis highlights digital divide in South Carolina, state education superintendent says

The novel coronavirus crisis has accentuated the digital divide in South Carolina as well as the need for greater internet access, suggested Molly Spearman, the SC education superintendent.

Shelter-in-Place Orders Underscore Rural Internet Limitations

New York State's Public Service Commission required Spectrum Internet, formed by the Time Warner Cable-Charter Communications merger, to significantly boost internet speeds upstate and expand broadband service to 145,000 residential units that currently don't have it. Lara Pritchard, a Charter spokesperson, claimed the company has completed the extension of its network to 100,421 new homes and businesses as of Jan. 31, 2020, which she claims is 13,000 ahead of the PSC schedule. Charter plans to meet the state requirement of 145,000 by Sept. 30, 2021, she said.