Once again, Syracuse has made it on a naughty list – this one having to do with the digital divide. As of 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Syracuse as the 10th worst city – as it relates to digital connectivity – in the nation.
Of the approximate 55K households, roughly 13K cannot connect to the internet at home. Not surprisingly, this crisis is largely affected by poverty – adding a new level of complexity between the “haves” and “have-nots”. Luckily, there are some entities dedicated to addressing this inequity.
All schools and library’s within Syracuse’s school district have computer labs that often extend their hours for students to research and complete school work. Additionally, county libraries are allowing community members to borrow laptop kits complete with hot spots to increase access.
Further, Syracuse’s Mayor, has moved to purchase upwards of 17K street lights from local utility provider, National Grid. As a result, City Hall would finally have access to the infrastructure grid necessary to reach and provide services for it’s residents. While the implementation of this plan would take years, it’s certainly a step in the right direction to minimizing the digital gap and ensuring the city residents have comparable access to information and the digital economy.