RS1: California

California wanted to bridge the digital divide but left rural areas behind. Now that’s about to change

Ulloa (2018) discusses how the rural areas of California have been left behind in terms of the digital divide – and the push to shift this dynamic. Specifically, the article notes that “a farming community of 7,000 west of Sacramento did not have computers at home until a few years ago” (1). Essentially, the article is expressing that California and more especially, rural areas have expanded to bring about a bridging of the gap. With the state of California becoming more technologically centered, the article reasons that rural populations want in on the proverbial action. Ulloa (2018) comments that to ensure the gap was bridged, the state in 2007 “established the California Advanced Services Fund to offer incentives to some of the poorest and hardest to reach regions in the state” (1), suggesting that there was and remains a commitment to make certain that people obtain connectivity in those hard to reach areas. Moreover, government officials have been working and continue to work to provide fire departments as well as law enforcement with the necessary access to internet. Ulloa (2018) notes that in Winters, which is the previously mentioned farming community, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, who represents the 4th Assembly District in the wine country areas of Sacramento, “persuaded an independent provider in 2014 to extend free Wi-Fi to public housing [in an effort to give] students the [opportunity] to do their homework. She [also] looked into applying for federal public safety grants to run fiber optic lines through a nearby dam” (1), thereby allowing areas that did not have access or had extremely poor access, to connect better. The idea according to Ulloa (2018) was and is to provide students and the people in these areas with a better working Internet and to expand their world (1), so to speak. This, Ulloa (2018) writes will hopefully allow for a better bridging of the digital divide in other cities across the country.

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