Bridging the digital divide

Low-income families must have inexpensive internet access.

Editorial board

As the largest Internet provider in the Twin Cities, Comcast is stepping up to solve a real problem in our society today: the digital divide. Many families simply cannot afford to pay for an Internet plan, which creates this separation.

Other obstacles that separate low-income families from those who have Internet at home are the high prices of laptops and computers, as well as not knowing the ins and outs of using the Internet and computers. Comcast is launching a program that offers discounted laptops and training to families in need of this, along with the low-cost plan.

This is a major step forward in the process of bridging the digital divide. Thousands of families in the Twin Cities do not have the luxury and convenience of having Internet access in their homes. This causes a major divide between families who can and cannot afford it.

The importance of this problem is underestimated. Having Internet in the home provides a learning tool for children and adults, along with a connection to family and friends throughout the world. The cost is simply too high for many families to afford. By providing less expensive access and laptops, Comcast is heading in the right direction in closing the gap.

Comcast will be offering a $10 per month plan for low-income families, instead of the usual $27 or $40 plans for regular customers. The next step is to provide low-cost plans to all. A massive BBC survey shows 80 percent of people consider Internet access a fundamental right. Since it plays such a major role in questions of freedom of speech and information in the modern world, everyone deserves inexpensive access to the Internet.