Lower income households means slower broadband –but providers can help bridge the gap

Fastly is working on a new series that…

examines the data behind several yet-unexplored facets of the digital divide, the people and places it impacts most greatly, and what can and should be done to close this persistent gap.

At the end of April they looked at download speed and household income…

To understand the degree to which the digital divide is affecting low-income families during the COVID-19 pandemic, we compared download speed against five median income brackets in the U.S. using 2017 tax return data by ZIP Code from the Internal Revenue Service.

The story nearly tells itself in pictures…

You can see the improvement experienced by the lowest income starting in mid-March…

The authors point out the impact of a change that Comcast made…

I would go beyond Comcast and look at the impact all of the national and local providers had in getting more people online, especially low income households. The impact is real, we just need a way to support the closing of the gap.

The authors end on a positive recommendation…

Thankfully, we can see that bridging the divide is possible. ISPs and mobile providers have the power to provide greater capacity and remove bandwidth restrictions and have done so amid this global health crisis. We are hopeful that others will follow suit, both now and in the future, as we head toward the new normal that awaits us on the other side of recovery.

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, Research, Vendors and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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