It is well known that we have a poverty problem and that there are families going without the bare necessities. We know that many senior citizens have to make choices as to whether to buy food or medicine. And yet, we continue to lose ground in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Despite the "war on poverty" during the 1960's the prognosis looks bleak at best. And, we have some of our wealthiest individuals "working" in Congress. Is it possible for them to see that there is inequity in the country when they are receiving a salary and perks that most of us will ever realize? But this post is not designed to indict the wealthy or to look at poverty from a sociological perspective. This post is being written to consider a more obscure but very real divide that is affecting many more of us than seems reasonable. I am talking about the digital divide.
In the early days of the internet it was possible to connect to the world through dial-up modems and there was a somewhat level playing field. There were local IP's (internet providers) that were low cost and easily accessible. And then, there were the outrageous providers like AOL that were well advertised, easy to join, and disproportionately expensive. And, as the cost of computers came down, connection speeds and service went up. And, as the cost of connection went up, the number of people able to access the web continued to decline.
And where are we now? With the introduction of DSL and broadband, the number of us able to afford either service or wireless 4G speeds is fast becoming impossible. So, online education, medical records, and video reception is limited. And, we can add to that the stranglehold that cable companies have on service and the ability to stifle competition. But, I am not going to rewrite information already written and readily available. I located a New York Times article that really is extensive and well worth a read here. You can read it with just a dial-up connection!