Digital Divide

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

From Availability to Accessibility: Hyper-Local Public-Private Partnerships

In 2016, Libraries Without Borders established the Wash and Learn Initiative (WALI) to expand the access and accessibility of information to families waiting for their clothes to wash and dry in laundromats. This article discusses the private-public partnerships between small, mom-and-pop laundromat businesses and library branches that have made this work possible. For our laundromat partners, we have heard that WALI libraries provide them with a direct means to give back to their communities.

Bridging the rural technology divide

To better understand how we can improve connectivity throughout Eastern Oregon, we recently visited Hermiston, Pendleton and Weston. We heard from folks who experience the divide every day. Local officials told us how the lack of high-speed broadband access is hurting the economy and even makes some residents less optimistic about the future. Rural health care providers told us how important telemedicine was in rural towns, and demonstrated how they use broadband to connect patients with doctors online, without patients needing to drive long distances to an office or hospital.

Sponsor: 

BroadbandUSA

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

US Department of Commerce

Date: 
Wed, 07/18/2018 - 19:00

Statewide strategies to promote broadband adoption and use in rural communities. Speakers will highlight the role of state governments, libraries and university extension programs in planning and execution of these strategies. The speakers will also discuss the role of broadband adoption in rural economic and workforce development, as well as approaches to facilitate broadband use and improve digital skills.

Speakers:



Rural Communities Suffer the Most Without Access to the Web

The Federal Communications Commission estimates 5.74 percent of Michigan's population - 573,426 people - have no broadband providers in their area, and only 62.32 percent have more than one option for high-speed Internet. Those who don't have access to broadband can sometimes opt for other options, such as satellite, a cellular hotspot or dial up, but those are generally slower, face larger data caps and can be affected by weather or other interference more than traditional cable.

What I learned about tech from Idaho miners, farmers and firefighters

Idaho is a state full of innovative, can-do people who are making our nation’s economy and society stronger. But it all depends on connectivity. And in that regard, we aren’t yet where we want to be. There are millions of Americans, including many in Idaho, who can’t get high-speed Internet access. And there are too many areas with insufficient broadband competition. Closing this “digital divide” is the [Federal Communications Commission's] top priority. I’m proud to say that we’re doing a lot to address that priority.

Lifeline offline: Unreliable internet, cell service are hurting rural Pennsylvania’s health

Even as businesses in Pittsburgh (PA) compete to commercialize artificial intelligence and give machines the human quality of “learning,” just a three-hour drive away people struggle with dial-up connections — if there are internet connections at all. More than 24 million Americans — 800,000 in Pennsylvania and mostly in rural areas — lack an internet connection that meets a federal minimum standard for speed. The result is a yawning divide in commerce, education and medicine that’s splitting America into the digital haves and have-nots.

Supporting Students & Families in Out-of-School Learning

This toolkit provides background context for the Homework Gap, addresses broader implications of household connectivity, suggests resources for scoping the problem, and details five strategies districts are currently using to address these challenges: 1) Partner with Community Organizations to Create “Homework Hotspots”, 2) Promote Low-Cost Broadband Offerings, 3) Deploy Mobile Hotspot Programs, 4) Install Wifi on School Buses and 5) Build Private LTE Networks. In addition, it outlines four steps school leaders can take to collaborate with local governments and their community to take a bro

Impact of CAF II-funded Networks

A new Blandin Foundation report finds that telecommunications companies relying only on Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund (CAF II) to build broadband networks in rural Minnesota will not equip residents with speeds that meet the state’s broadband goals. The paper, “Impact of CAF II-funded Networks: Lessons Learned from Two Rural Minnesota Exchanges Left Underserved,” explores the effects federal broadband investments are having in Lindstrom (MN) and Braham (MN). The CAF II program is designed to spur broadband development in unserved, high-cost rural areas.

Discounted Phones Save Lives of Homeless LGBT Teens — Now They Might Be Taken Away

Nationwide, nearly two in five homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That adds up to 650,000 young people on our streets who face special risk of bullying, discrimination, and assault. To stay safe, they rely on something simple — a wireless phone. Many homeless LGBT young people are eligible for a program that helps them get wirelessly connected. It’s called Lifeline. For decades, Lifeline has been run by the Federal Communications Commission.

FCC Commissioner Carr Remarks at Senate Broadband Caucus -- "Agriculture and Broadband for Strong Rural Communities"

We know the need for broadband in rural America. And we know the lost productivity and the lost job opportunities when fast connections are lacking.