What are some of the specific ways that these businesses and individuals have prevented nationwide internet access?

  1. Living in the 21st century, it can be easy to take technology for granted. Even the very blended nature of this course presupposes that students and professors alike will all have regular access to fast, reliable internet; however, the reality is that a quarter of Americans simply do not have broadband internet. While we might initially think that this simply translates to limited Instagram access or slow YouTube videos, our current society runs on and depends upon high-speed internet, and those without it are left to suffer the consequences. For this discussion, read Karl Vick’s “The Digital Divide,” published in Time, in order to understand the impact of the “digital divide” on our nation as well as some programs intended to close the gap; then, answer the following questions:
    • While many people across America cannot afford internet access at all, there is a far larger number who can only afford subpar services such as dial-up and satellite. What are the consequences on households that do not have internet access or have extremely slow internet capabilities? Provide specific examples from the article and your own knowledge to reinforce your claims.
    • According to the article (and perhaps even your own experiences), what are the limitations of using smartphones and connecting to public Wi-Fi in order for individuals to access high-speed internet? Again, provide concrete details and examples in your response.
    • What groups and people, as discussed in the text, might stand to gain by perpetuating this digital disparity across the country? (Consider rereading the section beginning with “Politically, the persistence of the digital gap defies logic.”) What are some of the specific ways that these businesses and individuals have prevented nationwide internet access?
    • Finally, the author closes by remarking that many of the suggestions meant to rectify the “digital divide” demand “a unity of purpose not yet seen from a President who ran as a populist and arrived in Washington surrounded by captains of industry.” Who is Vick referring to in this closing statement? Does he believe that this person is capable of implementing the changes necessary to close the digital gap? Why or why not? In your opinion, does Vick’s more argumentative stance at the end of this article help to strengthen his writing, or does it introduce bias? Explain why you believe this.

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