Originally published: September 1, 2010
Last updated: September 1, 2010 - 12:29pm
Broadband adoption in Washington, DC toes the line -- not party lines, but rather the lines of the district's eight wards. In well-to-do neighborhoods located in the northwest, more than 90 percent of residents are connected to high-speed Internet access, according to a 2009 study by the district's technology office. But to the southeast, in poorer communities, only 36 to 40 percent of people can access broadband. There's literally a digital divide that splits Washington, DC's geography.
Bryan Sivak, who has been Washington, DC's chief technology officer since last October, leads a coordinated effort to close that disparity -- an effort that will be one of his office's main missions, he said. "Some might say I'm evangelical about addressing the digital divide," he added. In a program Sivak believes is unique in scope, the district has assembled a three-pronged strategy that addresses the major challenges of providing and sustaining universal broadband to citizens: cost, public education and access to technology. All three obstacles are being addressed with separate stimulus grants awarded by the federal government.
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