Philly Giving WiFi a Shot

Philadelphia is attempting bridge the "digital divide". 90% of high income households have high speed internet compared to 25% of lower income households.

This article from www.philly.com discusses the case of Hercules Jones and his previous efforts to reach internet access by traveling for hours on public transportation. The article also addresses a criticism that people may not need or want the access or at least no one has stopped to ask whether or not people want it. I don't really think it should be an issue of want. Building the infrastructures for city wide networks now will thwart future more pressing issues of access. As commerce continues to grow on the internet many products and services may become more difficult to obtain. Also, hard copies of dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers (news, current events, politics) may become obsolete.

While a failure to bridge the "digital divide" may have heavier implications in the not-to-distant future, according to Philly.com the mayor of Philadelphia said this about immediate advantages of providing cheap high speed access to lower income households, "poor children can enroll in online after-school programs and use the Internet to help with homework" and, "the network would help people apply for jobs or finish coursework for college."

That's a pretty good start.

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