The Digital Divide

According to the American Community Survey (2016), 38.7% of Rochester households do not have a desktop or laptop computer. And, 42.9% of households do not have fixed internet subscriptions*. While smartphones are prevalent, they cannot perform all of the tasks that desktops or laptops can. Lack of computers in homes or easy access to the internet has serious economic and social consequences. One example: 60% of those who begin online job applications cannot complete them.

Without a computer and internet access, computer skills become much harder to acquire, and access to invaluable information, jobs and services is severely constricted. Without a computer, adequate skills or easy internet access, it is very difficult to:

  • create a resume
  • write a cover letter
  • set up an email account
  • find a job
  • find a doctor
  • get a driver’s license
  • apply for Fafsa and other student loans
  • get into college
  • find a bus route
  • find “how-to” videos to maintain your apartment or home
  • find a “how-to” video to fix your car
  • find a mechanic
  • get a passport
  • find a decent restaurant
  • connect to friends and family via social media
  • make travel plans or buy an airplane ticket
  • find out when the library opens
  • find a phone number
  • The list goes on

*fixed subscriptions include wired (DSL, cable or fiber optic) and satellite

Here’s what you can do

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