Larry Downes: “A new digital divide has emerged — and conventional solutions won’t bridge the gap” (Washington Post)
The Washington PostThough the United States has made profound progress in making Internet access universally available, a new digital divide has emerged that defies conventional solutions. Since both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have promised to expand broadband opportunities if elected president, it’s crucial for future policy decisions that we understand who is still offline and why. According to the most recent findings of the Pew Research Center, 13 percent of Americans still do not use the Internet. Of that group, the most telling variable is no longer race, sex or even income. It’s age. Over 40 percent of seniors are offline, compared with 1 percent of millennials. Two other groups stand out as digital holdouts — rural Americans (22 percent) and those with less than a high school education (34 percent). This is our new digital divide. And closing the inclusion gap demands a significant change in strategy.