Unemployed Detroit Residents Are Trapped by a Digital Divide

By Cecilia Kang, The New York Times

“I’ve come to believe Internet is a human right,” says Hope Village resident Julie Rice. “It’s clearly a huge disadvantage if you don’t have it.”

Lack of internet access hinders Detroit’s most vulnerable residents from making economic gains. “As one of the country’s most troubled cities tries to get back on its feet, a lack of Internet connectivity is keeping large segments of its population from even getting a fighting chance. Detroit has the worst rate of Internet access of any big American city, with four in 10 of its 689,000 residents lacking broadband, according to the Federal Communications Commission…But lack of Internet access, city officials and economists say, is also a crucial — and underappreciated — factor. The consequences appear in the daily grind of finding connectivity, with people unable to apply for jobs online, research new opportunities, connect with health insurance, get college financial aid or do homework.”

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