Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

digital divide

digital divide

  • students wifi internet laptops

    Getting students connected is one part (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor’s Office)


    Despite millions of dollars spent and a variety of initiatives undertaken, too many New Yorkers still lack reliable online access at a time when it is more important than ever.

    Reliable and fast connectivity is not a privilege, it’s essential. Without it, homes and businesses simply cannot succeed amid this public health crisis, which has forced many to live much of their lives virtually – from remote working and telehealth, to online learning, shopping, and

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  • students computers

    A plan for internet access at school and home (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The coronavirus pandemic has shown all of us the importance of a reliable high-speed home internet connection, whether for remote learning and working from home or for gathering virtually with loved ones. There is a common cliché that “the virus doesn’t discriminate,” but the reality is that coronavirus disproportionately harms low-income communities of color impacted by

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  • mayor link unb

    Mayor de Blasio at a LinkNYC kiosk (photo: Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the pandemic forced New Yorkers to shelter at home, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration launched several efforts to assist those who lacked the necessary access to the internet to adapt to working and learning virtually. But there remains a deep digital divide across the city, particularly in terms of lack of access in low-income communities of color, creating significant challenges for students, residents of homeless shelters and public housing, and others.

    According to city data, 40%

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  • mayricca

    Students and laptops, eyeing the digital divide (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Among the many lessons the coronavirus outbreak is teaching us about our society is that we are not prepared to live in the 21st century, particularly residents in low-income communities with little or no access to much-needed technology.

    This century is a time of continued uncertainty, in which established norms change overnight and disruptions are being regularly caused by natural and man-made disasters. Our largely interconnected globe means that the spread of information,

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