Keeping Tabs on the Digital Divide

The LinkAge

Weekly Wrap-Up, October 03, 2014

By runner310 (Flickr: Golden Fog) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsBy runner310 (Flickr: Golden Fog) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

McKinsey & Company published a report (executive summary, full report) examining worldwide barriers keeping 60 percent of the world’s population offline. McKinsey identifies four major barriers to Internet adoption: incentives, low incomes and affordability, user capability, and infrastructure. NPR also offers an overview of the report.

The Wall Street Journal suggests that Google Fiber’s project in Kansas City failed to close the digital divide. Just 10 percent of residents in low-income neighborhoods subscribe to the service (an additional five percent use the slower, free version). This is in contrast to the 42 percent subscription rate in middle- and high-income areas.

Sue McCrum argues that the FCC isn’t doing enough for rural Americans and that phase two of the Connect America Fund will not be successful unless some changes are made.

On October 01, San Francisco, funded by Google, launched free public Wi-Fi in 32 locations around the city.

WightFibre and Breezie team up to offer tablets easily usable by seniors.

Hack the Hood helps low-income youth gain skills for jobs in the technology sector.

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee pushes for an Internet “bill of rights” to guarantee basic rights and freedoms.

And finally, Snow days could be a thing of the past. Schools in Pennsylvania might try instructing students through digital technology on days when students can’t make it into the actual classroom.