Digital Cities: The Internet and the Geography of Opportunity - Oxford Studies in Digital Politics by Karen Mossberger
In an age when the United Nations declared access to the Internet a human right, and universal access to high-speed broadband was a national goal, urban areas were largely ignored…
Digital Cities synopsis
In an age when the United Nations declared access to the Internet a human right, and universal access to high-speed broadband was a national goal, urban areas were largely ignored by federal policy. The cost of this neglect may be the failure to realize the social benefits of broadband and a broadly interconnected digital society.
Technology offers unparalleled advantages for urban innovation - in economics, health care, education, energy, transportation, government services, civic engagement and more. With their intensity and networks of activity, cities have the most potential to reap the benefits of technology.
But there are surprisingly large variations in broadband adoption across cities. More bafflingly, rather than encouraging innovation or addressing the high cost of broadband access, the United States has often financed expensive rural infrastructure in low-density areas. Digital cities tell the story of the use of information technology and inequality in American urban areas and discuss trends of change. The authors argue that the mobile Internet only, a model used by many minorities and the urban poor, is a form of second-rate access, providing evidence that users with limited access have significantly lower levels of Internet activity and skill .
Digital citizenship and full participation in economic, social and political life require access to homes. Using multi-level statistical models, authors are providing new data to classify broadband access and use in the country's top 50 cities and urban areas, showing considerable variation across places.
The unique data from the Chicago neighborhoods examine the impact of poverty and segregation on access in a large and diverse city, parallel to the analysis of national patterns in urban, suburban and rural areas. Digital cities demonstrate the importance of space in shaping our digital future and the need for policies that recognize the critical role cities play in addressing both social inequality and opportunity..
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