Digital Access & Broadband For All

 

 

The coronavirus health crisis is expected to push the U.S. into a recession, with record stock losses and unemployment rates spiking.  Furthermore, more than one million  New York City students have transitioned to remote learning due to this pandemic. 

School closures in response to the epidemic have revealed the shocking disparities in internet access. It shouldn't take a pandemic to expose the “digital divide,” internet inequality among our students. Access to high-speed internet is differentiated based on geographies, class, race, and ethnicity, perpetuating existing forms of exclusion. 

 

 According to city data, 40% of New York City residents lack either mobile or home broadband service, and 18% lack both.  This makes it more difficult to move out of poverty, find jobs, obtain health care and social services, access distance learning, and advocate for community change. Access to broadband also supports a better-informed electorate, a responsive government, and enhanced civic engagement. With poverty high and people out of work, paying for internet access isn’t possible. 

Did You Know? 

Many neighborhoods outside of lower Manhattan lack the infrastructure for broadband service, especially in areas of Brooklyn and Queens where there are fewer accessible conduit or utility poles.

 

As city councilwoman Zuri will:

 

  • Bring  connectivity  to underserved communities by advocating for publicly provided free Wi-Fi hotspots.

  • Advocate for funding for expanded broadband access. 

  • Advocate for affordable, high-speed internet service to the city's five boroughs. 

  • Partner with companies like  Free Basics (a service Facebook has spearheaded) that is fighting to connect all Americans to affordable broadband by pushing back against harmful mergers and advancing Lifeline modernization.

  • Provide accessible technology workshops for all communities

"Broadband access to the Internet is a crucial resource in the 21st century."