CBS Sunday morning last weekend ran an interesting article on “The great broadband divide.” The stories won’t be new to most readers, but it’s always good to see the case being made in mainstream media.
The point out the discrepancy in deciding how many people are online:
- FCC says 23 million people don’t have broadband
- Microsoft says 162 million don’t have broadband
CBS goes on to explain that the FCC gages by census tract. So if one person has access, they say they all do. Which is a little like deciding that everyone in my zip code has a Master’s degree, because I do.
Also CBS tackles the idea that the FCC definition of broadband is not fast enough, which more and more people are finding is the case especially with the pandemic and more people trying to work and learn from home. They mention the efforts school have gone to try to meet the needs of students by handing our hotspots or printing out homework packets – for those who can’t access broadband due to availability and/or affordability.
About 6 and a half minutes into the segment, they go into federal funding for broadband. Gigi Sohn talks about the poor return on FCC’s investment in broadband.
The final message in the story is that the digital divide is getting deeper.