Digital Age is Slow to Arrive in Rural America

As the world embraces its digital age — two billion people now use the Internet regularly — the line delineating two Americas has become more broadly drawn. There are those who have reliable, fast access to the Internet, and those, like about half of the 27,867 people here in Clarke County, AL who do not. For many here, where the median household income is $27,388, the existing cellphone and Internet options are too expensive.

The above is from an article in the the NY Times about the lack of connectivity in most of rural America. Length piece, but this portion about the library is of particular interest:

Gina Wilson, director of the Thomasville Library, oversees 11 terminals with lightning-fast Internet access. They attract the usual array of children and the unemployed during the day, as well as college students who take classes online. At night, people stop by after work to check their e-mail or scroll through Facebook.

Mrs. Wilson noticed that after hours, people would pull into the parking lot, open their laptops and try to use the library’s wireless signal. So she started leaving it on all night, and soon will post a sign on the door with the password (which, if you are in Thomasville and need to get online, is “guest.”)

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What are you missing?

From article:

Here in Coffeeville, the only computer many students ever touch is at the high school.

“I’m missing a whole lot,” said Justin Bell, 17. “I know that.”

Comment: You may not be missing as much as you think Justin.

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