Can We Close the Digital Divide?
For Kathy Zimbro of Phelan, CA, it was a 45 day process trying to receive service from an incumbent provider (Frontier), but after all of her exhausted efforts, she ultimately had to attempt to find another provider before moving her business location due to the lack of service.
In the same town, Kimberly Fetzer struggled with the same issues. She was not able to work from home due to constant service outages which resulted in her termination.
These are just some of the stories of people living in the “Digital Divide.”
While many Americans take the Internet for granted, people in rural America struggle to keep up with technology. Over the last decade, a dial up connection brought millions of them Internet access, but with the evolution of services such as: video-on-demand, online job applications, telemedicine and even Internet classrooms, the minimum standard for adequate broadband has been re-defined.
These advances in technology all require a high-speed connection that is almost exclusively available from select elite Internet Service Providers across the country, leaving many Americans in the dark.
Although a home broadband connection was once considered a “luxury” for many, today, as technology advances, the Web is a necessity.
The Digital Divide refers to the inequalities between individuals that lack access to modern information communications technology.
Nationally, approximately 11.5% of the total U.S. population did not have Internet access in 2016.
And in California, despite a robust technology economy, the Digital Divide has become a system for the haves and have nots.
Although the gap has somewhat narrowed, a 2016 survey conducted by the Field Research Corp found that in the state that practically invented the Internet, 30 percent of Californians (nearly 12 million people) do not have meaningful broadband at home.
Most strikingly, the promise of broadband Internet is still elusive for many low-income, elderly and rural Americans either due to high costs or poor to non-existent service in some areas.
Left unchecked, this divide will continue to drive disparities that will weigh on our economy.
At Race Communications, we have made it our company’s mission to provide reliable high-speed Internet. Our fiber optic networks empower our customers to “Gigafy” their daily lives through our Internet, TV and voice packages in areas that often go underserved/unserved.
Our consumers have used Race’s services ranging from starting their own businesses to building out their public safety’s communications in times of emergencies. At Race, we’ve worked with the California Public Utilities Commission and other advocacy groups to build and offer affordable gigabit Internet services to various communities throughout the state.
Call us at 1-877-722-3833 or visit us at race.com to see if we provide our fiber optic services in your area.