Closing the digitial divide

 

Roughly one in three Americans still doesn’t have broadband Internet service at home. A whopping 40 percent of African Americans and half of Hispanic Americans are out in the cold when it comes to broadband. Solving this problem and getting everyone online is critical to rebuilding our economy. Most Fortune 500 companies will only post new job offerings online, and most middle-class jobs require strong Internet skills.

Two years ago, the FCC teamed with the nation’s largest broadband provider — Comcast — to initiate the largest experiment ever attempted to close the digital divide. Their program, known as Internet Essentials, offers heavily discounted broadband service, affordable computers and training to low-income families — almost 150,000 in the Miami area. No attempt to close the digital divide has ever been so successful. Nearly a million Americans have joined in just two years. Now other broadband providers such Cox and Suddenlink√ are also joining the ranks to provide the same service.

The lessons are clear: We can fix problems, help people and grow the economy if we work together, across partisan lines, and with public-private sector cooperation. All it takes is persistence, cooperation and creativity.

Hilary O. Shelton, senior vice president, NAACP, Washington, D.C.

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Partners in stopping human trafficking

    The Aug. 18 article Council aims to fight human trafficking describes how Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will lead the new Statewide Council on Human Trafficking in tackling the issue prevalent in Florida. The new Council goes hand-in-hand with the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services’ efforts to get critical services closer to human trafficking victims.

  • Fare increase for disabled ‘un-American’

    Why should residents of Miami-Dade County with disabilities have to pay more to use public transportation? They don’t pay for the construction and maintenance of accessibility ramps in the front of buildings? That’s the government’s — the community’s — responsibility, as agreed to under the landmark legislation passed 25 years ago known as the American’s With Disabilities Act or ADA, enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • Zoo Miami’s angels

    It’s Sunday morning and I settle in to read the Herald. I pick up the Tropical Life section and am drawn to the lead article, Zoo Miami’s angels, by Ron Magill, the zoo’s communications director. Magill is a treasure to South Florida because of his super work and devotion to one of the finest zoos in the country.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category