Bridging the Digital Divide Is Imperative for Economic Prosperity
By Barbara O'Connor | April 10, 2016
Although California is a powerhouse of technology and innovation, the digital divide persists for rural communities and low-income neighborhoods:
▪ 30 percent of all households don’t have high-speed internet service and a computer at home.
▪ 43 percent of rural residents don’t have reliable high-speed internet access.
While the state has made significant progress since 2008 in increasing home broadband use from 55 percent to 84 percent of all households, the sad news is that too many households remain stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide
And, the gulf between the “digital haves” and “digital have-nots” is the greatest for the most disadvantaged residents: While 16 percent of the overall population is not connected at home with high-speed internet service, 32 percent of low-income households, 32 percent of Spanish-speaking families, 29 percent of people with disabilities, 37 percent of adults without a high-school diploma and 44 percent of seniors remain unconnected.