The Week in Internet News: The Digital Divide During a Pandemic

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The great divide: The continuing digital divide in the U.S. is hurting people as they try to shop, attend school, and work during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, The Guardian says.

According to Broadband, as many as 42 million US residents do not have even Internet access. M-Labs too say that across the US, 62 percent do not have enough adequate broadband speeds.

The Sordid Saga:

Students in rural Alabama are struggling to complete their school work because a lack of Internet access, according to an Associated Press story. In nine Alabama counties, less than 30 percent of the population has access. “We don’t want to leave 20 to 30 percent of our population behind just because of where they live,” said John Heard, school superintendent in Perry County.

The Silver Lining in these Clouds: ZDNet Reports that even with many people across the world working from home or attending school from home, the Internet is holding us. An edge cloud computing provider Fastly found that in the hard-hit New York and New Jersey area, Internet traffic augmented by 45 percent in the month of March, but the speed of download decreased by less than 6 percent. Even in the state of California, traffic jumped by nearly 47 percent, however the download speed increased by 1 percent.

Have you been given misinformation?

If the sources close to Politico Reports are to be believed, Facebook may soon start notifying millions of users that they have been fed fake news about the Corono Virus on the site. The Campaign group Avaaz has found that over 40 percent of already debunked Corona Virus misinformation in found on Facebook remained on the platform even after fact-checking organizations had notified the social media giant.

Rolling their Own: According to Colorado Sun, “A group of northwestern Colorado cities has launched their own broadband network in an effort to provide better access, lower prices and higher reliability.”

Falling Down: If the sources close to CNet are to be believed the United Nations has set a couple of goals for improving access to the Internet, but it seems that those targets won’t be met. Seemingly, U.N. will not be able to meet its 2020 goal of achieving “Universal Access” given the fact that 46 percent of the population of the world is still lacking Internet services.

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