RS 1: HTX

Comcast helps bridge digital divide

Comcast, one of the largest telecommunication companies that exists today, is now acting to bridge the digital divide that haunts many people in the United States and all around the world. In August of 2016 Andrea Leinfelder wrote the article “Comcast Helps Bridge the Digital Divide,” that was printed in the Houston Chronicle. The article starts off by addressing the problem that kids sit outside churches or park next to libraries, so they can receive internet connection in order to complete their homework assignments. Johnny Molock, and IT director for a Houston nonprofit organization, reports that 90 percent of low-income housing that he visits have no computer access, leaving the residents famished of the internet that opens countless opportunities. He later says in the article that “Kids that don’t have computers and access and early education, they’re behind and they can’t compete” (Leinfelder). Educational standards today require internet access, in fact, I would not be able to complete actual tests and quizzes for some of my classes if I did not have internet connection. Kids that are deprived of the internet are left in the dust by students who come from high income families who are being trained at a very early age on how to maneuver through the internet. Economic stability is a huge factor in the digital divide. According to a study in 2013, 98.1 percent of households earning more than $150,000 owned a computer and 94.9 percent had access to the internet. Where families that were earning $25,000 or less had only 62.4 percent owning computers and 48.4 having access to the internet. Low income families already have an unfair disadvantage at finding a good job, making it even harder being raised without access to the resources that the internet holds. David Cohen is the senior executive vice president of Comcast and has recognized the issue of the divide. He claims that “There may have been a time, for a nanosecond, where the internet was viewed as a luxury, as sort of a cool thing to have,” confirming the fact that the world has changed and has become increasingly technology based, leaving behind a group of people that are less fortunate (Leinfelder). According to Leinfelder, Comcast “is giving $35,000 to the city of Houston for a mobile computer lab, $20,000 to Neighborhood Centers and another $20,000 to the YMCA to support their digital literacy efforts and provide internet access at their computer labs. Nationwide, it is giving about $2 million in grants.” The digital divide is a huge problem that as citizens we must try to close, just as Comcast is doing.

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