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“Digital divide”

Bob Bennett, former chief innovation officer of Kansas City, Missouri

“Digital divide” I think is becoming a little less effective as a term. When we started it, it had to do with physical access to the connected world. And the measure of the digital divide was frequently either fiber connection speeds available in different neighborhoods or it was amount of fiber coverage for a city. But the pandemic illustrated the fallacy in that assessment mechanism. Even if the accessibility was at the doorstop, does the resident have the ability and trust to engage in the connected community? For so many communities, that trust factor wasn’t there. The focus needs to be on physical accessibility, hardware and human factors. Instead of a digital divide, I think it’s more of an “accessibility gap.”

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