The digital divide grows deeper and wider every day, but never so fast as it has in the last 18 months due to widespread, global lockdowns. The Federal Communications Commission estimates that 19 million Americans – 6% of the population – lack access to fixed broadband, while over 100 million Americans that do have access, don’t subscribe to the service. Solutions to bridge the gap are vital to overcome systemic inequities already setting global populations on starkly different paths.
Being digitally connected affords us opportunities to meaningfully participate in work, civic engagement, education, and wellness, but there is a large gap between those who do and don’t have access and subscribe to broadband internet. A combined approach to solutions includes building infrastructure and capacity, creating affordable devices and internet access, developing human capacity, up and reskilling, and facilitating foundational learning.