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Pandemic Reveals the Impact of the Digital Divide and Repeal of Net Neutrality

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I'm feeling the effects of both the digital divide and net neutrality. Are you?


I teach at one of the colleges of a major university; all the university's classes have been converter to online. Many of the students simply cannot easily engage in online courses, because they simply do not have own a computer with high speed access to the internet. Most access the internet with a smartphone.


The closure of schools, libraries, cafes, and other venues that provided free internet access has effectively eliminated all sources of alternative access.


Given the 3 million+ new filers for unemployment. those with access will be under increased difficulty to continue paying for it. 


Last year I tried to reduce my expenses -- across the board.  The lowest I could get my cell phone bill was $35 and my internet access (no TV) is $65.  $100 a month without income is major expense. Of course many people spend much more.


Even for those of us with internet access, there is no guarantee that we will be able access the websites we need to access.  Service providers are now free to throttle back on speed of access to websites.  I know over the last week my ability to access my website has been greatly reduced.  Indeed I'm writing this note while waiting to access my database up update my site (it just not timed out). This type error never happened before.




I'll try again and I maybe I'll be able to connect and maybe I won't.  I assure you we will have no issues accessing the Google, Amazon, and Facebook's websites -- I don't care who the service provider is.


I've been having trouble accessing Netflix via Spectrum and have had much better luck with accessing it via Sprint using my cell phone's data network (then chromecast the program to my TV). In many instances I just give up on trying to watch watching Netflix.


The repeal of Net Neutrality was a travesty of justice, and the fact that high speed Internet access is not treated like a utility is obscene.


Today a handful of companies completely control our access to the internet. Poor and struggling people are left out in the cold. The internet for them is smartphone access to social media.  I guess that was the goal all along.


Let me see if I can get into my database now....

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