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Bonnie Sutton

More Wireless Broadband Is What Consumers Want, U.S. Needs to Close the Digital Divide - 3 views

wireless broadband affordability adoption rural access

started by Bonnie Sutton on 10 Jan 12
  • Bonnie Sutton
    Submitted: January 9, 2012 - 2:41pm

    Originally published: January 9, 2012
    Last updated: January 9, 2012 - 2:43pm
    Source: Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
    Author: David Honig
    Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC), 3636 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20010, United States
    [Commentary] Susan Crawford is a heroine of mine. Not only is she a distinguished telecom policy scholar, she's one of the very few who has focused on the digital divide. Her recent New York Times commentary "The New Digital Divide" accurately points out that the nation is at risk if we don't close the disparate access to broadband along the lines of race and class. The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) has declared that broadband access, adoption, and informed use is the #1 civil rights issue in the digital age, and that without broadband a person living in the digital age is doomed to second class citizenship.

    But what should be the remedies? How does a community implement school integration without bus rides that deprive children of sufficient sleep? Can healthcare be equalized without training physicians to be aware of their unconscious prejudices that translate into racially disparate treatment patterns? Can housing be desegregated without also planning for desegregation of the nearby schools and workplaces?

    Equalizing access to broadband is a civil rights matter of the greatest importance. And, with the greatest respect, Professor Crawford takes us part of the way toward the answer - but not all the way there. Her analysis, while substantially correct, contains two errors.

    First, she mistakenly identifies wireless as a big part of the problem of the digital divide when, actually, it's much more a part of the solution.
    And second, while she correctly recognizes that shared networks lead to lower prices and hence more affordability and higher rates of adoption, her argument comes several years too late.
  • Vanessa Vaile
    too bad it's on HuffPo, won't blog, bookmark or retweet because I'm boycotting the site
  • Bonnie Sutton
    I will look for another reference.

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