Home » Posts tagged 'Digital divide' (Page 2)
Tag Archives: Digital divide
One of the problems government information specialists face is that, as so much government information is born digital and available only online, a large percentage of people have less access than they did when a paper copy of government information was within relatively easy reach at their local FDLP library. We all imagine that this is a temporary situation and hope for a time when broadband access is as available as electricity and telephones and television. But, as the reports and surveys continue to reveal, the digital divide is real and is not shrinking very fast if at all.
The Benton Foundation has released a new report that addresses this issue head on.
- AN ACTION PLAN FOR AMERICA: Using Technology and Innovation to Address Our Nation’s Critical Challenges A report for the new administration, Benton Foundation, by Jonathan Rintels, December 1, 2008. [more links and HTML at http://benton.org/initiatives/broadband_benefits/action_plan ]
Jonathan Rintels is the Executive Director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media. The Benton Foundation is a private foundation that works to ensure that media and telecommunications serve the public interest and enhance our democracy.
The report says that the new Administration “must launch a well-planned, concerted national effort — paralleling that which deployed telephone service, electricity, and interstate highways across the nation — to deploy robust and affordable broadband to every corner of our nation.”
Amen to that!
The Pew Internet and American Life Project has a new survey Home Broadband Adoption 2008 (PDF, 31 pages) that says “Adoption stalls for low-income Americans even as many broadband users opt for premium services that give them more speed.”
NextGov looks at the report in relation to e-government initiatives. (E-Government’s Tough Nut, by Allan Holmes, Tech Insider NextGov, July 3, 2008.) Some of the problems for a government wanting to interact with citizens online is that many citizens cannot or will not be able to do so. The articles picks the relevant statistics from the Pew report: the percentage of low-income Americans who have a broadband Internet connection dropped from 28 percent to 25 percent; of those that use the slower dial-up connections, almost two-thirds said they had no desire to change to broadband; 27 percent of Americans have no Internet access, with most of those being either elderly or low-income; only 10 percent of the non-Internet users have any desire to become wired. As Holmes says:
These are the hard-core resisters – and there are millions of them. That means if government wants to move ahead with providing more electronic services – including services that may require faster and more robust connections that broadband provides – a large portion of Americans may just not care. And these resisters are exactly the demographics that government tends to serve.
A new study says that there are signs that the digital divide is widening for some groups in California, particularly Latino and low-income residents. This conclusion is based on a statewide survey. The study also notes that computer use in California is similar to that in the nation as a whole.
- Californians & information technology, by Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Jennifer Paluch, and Sonja Petek, The Public Policy Institute of California, in collaboration with The California Emerging Technology Fund. June 25, 2008
“…[T]here are tremendous differences in access to critical information that put many at a disadvantage in their everyday lives. At a time when technology’s role is growing and in a state that has led the way, this poses a major policy challenge.”
Public Libraries Can’t Fill Digital Divide Alone, Senate Committee Told
Jennifer Pinkowski — Library Journal, 9/7/2007
Public libraries alone cannot fill the digital divide that plagues rural Arkansas, Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System director David Burdick told United States Senators and officials from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on August 28. Burdick testified in Little Rock at the Central Arkansas Library System’s downtown branch before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in a field hearing on the accessibility and affordability of broadband in Arkansas organized by Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR).