The Magnitude of the Urban Digital Divide

by David Solomonoff

The web is full of stories of rural areas with no broadband options, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few decades helping rural areas get better broadband. There has not been nearly as much coverage of the huge broadband gap in urban areas. There are a lot of urban homes that can’t afford broadband and, in many cases, got bypassed when the telcos and/or cable companies built their networks.

The gigantic challenge is how to apply solutions at the scale of a big city. How can a city provide digital literacy training on computer skills to several hundred thousand people? How do you get hundreds of thousands of computers into homes that need them? And the big dollar question is how to subsidize the cost of a monthly broadband connection to half a million homes.

Source: The Magnitude of the Urban Digital Divide

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