What is it about?

According to longitudinal data from IGS Berkeley and the Pew Center, since 2010 the digital divide has remained virtually unchanged in California and the rest of the United States. For the past 10 years billions of dollars have been invested in programs aimed at fostering urban adoption but have had little to no effect on the divide. This paper examines multiple data sets and projects to find out why those programs have not been effective, and asks, "if the programs and investments that have been undertaken have not yielded results, what policies can governments implement to most effectively close the digital divide?"

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Why is it important?

This work lays bare the ineffectiveness of 10 years worth of outreach efforts to close the digital divide. It looks at multiple programs and methods of outreach and uses a variety of data sources and surveys to prove that information based outreach efforts alone won't close the digital divide in low-income households.

Perspectives

Disparities in connectivity lead to disparities in education, employment, and access to services and information. It is imperative government bridge the digital divide. It is my hope that policy makers will take this paper, along with the two others cited in this work and change the course of action.

Lloyd Levine
University of California, Riverside

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Broadband adoption in urban and suburban California: information-based outreach programs ineffective at closing the digital divide, Journal of Information Communication and Ethics in Society, June 2020, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/jices-04-2020-0041.
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