Keeping Tabs on the Digital Divide

The LinkAge

Weekly Wrap-Up, April 24, 2015

By Comcast Corporation [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsBy Comcast Corporation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The New York Times Editorial Board weighed in on the state of broadband this week and the importance of municipal and state involvement. “For most Americans,” they argued, “broadband is quickly becoming a must-have utility like water and electricity. That’s why it makes sense for cities and states to get involved.”

Pew Research Center’s John Horrigan delves into the numbers behind the “homework gap.” For example, low-income households with children are four times more likely to lack broadband than middle- or upper-income households with children.

Tyton Partners produced a report on the importance of technology in adult education. ​Advances in educational technology have largely not been directed at the adult education market, and, the report argues, this is a mistake.

There was much debate over the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger this week. Susan Crawford authored an article in Medium, explaining the roadblocks Comcast faced, including skepticism over Internet Essentials, a pending antitrust case from the Department of Justice, and more. In response to criticism, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen set the record straight on the company’s blog, arguing that Comcast and its Internet Essentials program are in fact doing good work to bridge the digital divide. According to the New York Times’ Jonathan Mahler, as soon as the merger became about the Internet, its chances were squashed. Chairman Wheeler issued a statement regarding Comcast’s decision to abandon the merger.

And finally, New York City continues to fight its digital divide. The New York Public Library has announced that it will expand its lending program. The devices will now be available at 11 library branches in high-need areas. Writing for the Atlantic’s City Lab, Tanvi Misra explains how Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vision for Internet access for all New Yorkers is a part of his “One New York” initiative to create a more equal and resilient New York.


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