By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal
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Digital Divide Exacerbates US Inequality (Financial Times)
David Crow quotes Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford on how the digital divide contributes to inequality in light of new data on broadband access throughout the country. There are still 31 million households in the US without a home or mobile broadband subscription.
Susan Crawford, who served as Mr Obama's special assistant for technology and innovation in 2009, warned: "we are creating two Americas where the wealthy have access . . . while others are left on a bike path, unable to join in the social and economic benefits that the internet brings".
It had been thought that the rural make-up of much of the US was the main factor in a national broadband subscription rate that is just 73.4 per cent, behind other developed nations such as the UK and Germany, which have rates of 88 per cent. About 67 per cent of households in rural areas have broadband internet service, compared to 75 per cent of urban households.
But the new Census Bureau statistics show a huge disparity among US cities and towns, with a gap of 65 percentage points between those with the highest and lowest subscription rates.
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