NYC Grapples With Low-Income Internet: A Community Necessity?

people of all ages sit around a library internet access computer table
Minecraft Gaming Night photo by Kiama Library is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Libraries have found a new purpose providing scheduled moments of internet access for those without it. A pandemic has revealed that community internet support must go much further.

Do you live in a community or region short-changed on broadband internet access1? Is your local government — in fact, any level of your government — still debating whether it’s a necessity-based moment in time caused by the pandemic, or one requiring that the internet in the future be treated as basic housing infrastructure requirement, much like roads and electricity and sewers?

New York City might be a suitable bellwether for what needs to be done about broadband internet access and its place in modern society. The debate in that world-beating city has progressed far beyond the temporary need for internet-enabled working and learning from home in a time of pandemic.

The gothamist does a roundup and description of the scramble to meet the needs of students expected to participate in distant learning. This “momentary” crisis for those without internet access has shone upon a growing — and arguably essential — need for access for rich and poor, children and adults to the educational, social, political and economic demands as well as opportunities of a digital universe.

Read more in the gothamist: What It Will Take To Bring Strong Internet Service To Every NYC Student


  1. The terms “high-speed” and “broadband” are pretty much interchangeable. Use the term “high-speed” if you’d like to be known as a country hick with a passion for burning rubber. “broadband” qualifies you as a wannabe nerd.

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