What is Digital Divide

The gap between the people who do not have Internet Connection and those who have is called Digital Divide. The internet may have become an essential part of people’s lives, but it has disadvantages.

According to the University of Wisconsin-Extension Broadband & E-Commerce Education Center, the data released in 2015 showed that an estimated 96 percent of urban residents live in areas where broadband speeds are available. There is 61 percent of rural households have the same availability, though access is not always guaranteed.

“While Digital Divide is not wider than it used to be, it is definitely steeper. If you do not have access, it has never been worse,” said Lodi Public Library Co-Director Trish Frankland.

Meanwhile, Poynette resident named Jenny Walz said her family has to use cell phones as Wi-Fi hotspots. She and her husband Luke Walz, Poynette Chamber of Commerce president, are co-owners of Poynette Auto Body, LLC. She said their business is a resource for Wi-Fi when the family runs out of cellular data. This is since they do not get much bandwidth at their home, which is four miles outside of Poynette.

“I’m just shocked. We can use cell towers and the signal is great, but it gets expensive,” Jenny Walz shared. She added how hard it when her children are frequently sent home with schoolwork that requires access to the internet. That means they have to spend late nights at Poynette Auto Body or the library for a steady Wi-Fi connection.

Lodi Enterprise revealed that the UW-Extension data stated lack of access was due to people not adopting broadband technologies. Unfortunately, we cannot blame them. They might have security issues or financial struggle.

What is the solution?

According to Nedeau-Owen, the committee has not yet confirmed the cooperative’s purpose. He revealed that it would be developing the infrastructure in the town West Point. “Broadband is a public utility. It becomes increasingly incumbent upon us to give that to everyone… schools and governments have to make sure that connection is there,” he ended. Customers can send their thoughts through the Kroger Survey!

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