Last month, I wrote about our community’s digital divide. Data from the 2013 U.S. Census American Community Survey showed lower rates of computer ownership and broadband Internet adoption in the City of Rochester compared to Monroe County as a whole. Three out of four households in the county have high-speed Internet, compared to three of five households in the city. The county’s Internet connectivity is on par with the national average.
It turns out Rochester is one of the least connected cities in the entire country. Governing Magazine ranked cities with more than 100,000 people based on the percentage of households that have Internet of any kind. Rochester ranked 280th out of 296 cities. That’s absolutely abysmal.
To a large degree, Internet adoption mirrors a city’s demographics. Poorer households might not sign up because of the cost. Whites also report higher Internet adoption than black and Hispanic households. Age is another pronounced demographic divides. About 64 percent of the 65-and-over population reported having Internet subscriptions, compared to 81 percent for the rest of the population.
The census data shows 13 percent of Rochester residents only have broadband on their smartphones.
There are real benefits for the city to getting more people online. The Internet is the whole world’s library – at your desk. High-speed Internet helps both children and adults develop literacy, skills, innovations and more. Knowledge is power.
Is the digital divide an issue the city should take on?
Links of the Day:
– The Rochester Housing Authority has not yet posted the job of executive director.
– We still don’t know how much the state spent to lure Amazing Spider-Man 2’s production.
– I was touched by the D&C’s story of a victim of violence who became a perpetrator. This story is so common – and so sad.
– Ten thousand tons of unwanted Concord grapes grown in New York will drop to the earth.
– Harvard has a cool online survey to gauge your heart health.
– “Do it for Utica?” Residents are not happy with an op-ed in the New York Times.
Stat of the Day:
It appears the city vote was key to Louise Slaughter’s victory:
Crazy Photo Op of the Day:
The city actually shut down the Inner Loop for several hours five days early so politicians could throw ceremonial dirt – that was later swept away by city cleaning crews.