As of 2017, 34 million Americans - mostly those who are poor, people of color, elderly, or rural residents - do not have access to fixed high-speed Internet. Northeast Ohio is not immune to this trend.
In 2015, a report commissioned by the Cleveland Foundation found that, while Cuyahoga County was close to the national average in terms of broadband internet adoption rates, hundreds of thousands of residents in mostly low-income neighborhoods lacked access to the internet. Furthermore, this discrepancy was exacerbated by accusations that large internet providers engaged in "digital redlining," preventing high-poverty neighborhoods from accessing current internet and video technologies.
As everything from job applications and training programs to bill paying to school enrollment is digitized and moved online, those without reliable access to the internet are further disenfranchised and encounter more barriers to access the resources they need to potentially lift themselves out of poverty. What efforts are underway in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to reverse digital redlining and provide internet access to all?
Join dinner and conversation with Justin Bibb, Co-Founder of HackCLE, and Samantha Schartman-Cycyk, Research Director at Connect Your Community Institute.