COVID-19 pandemic, report unveil deep digital divide among families in Connecticut

Technology

(WTNH) — The pandemic has pulled the curtain back on the deep digital divide among families in our state. A new report by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and the Dalio partnership was released on Tuesday.

According to that report, one in ten Connecticut households don’t have internet. And the majority of those families live in New Haven or Hartford, Waterbury, and other urban centers.

Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez says, with a lot of effort, her district has managed to bridge the digital divide for most of the student body as they continue with hybrid learning. But there are kids falling through the gap.

Torres-Rodriguez is calling for long term solutions, not just a stop-gap. “Now I need a strategy. I need a strategy post-covid.”

“It is an equity issue where the lack of connectivity disproportionately affects people of color across the state as well as senior citizens,” Joe DeLong, CCM.

With towns and cities already strapped, the costs could balloon into the billions – far exceeding what the state is likely able to handle on its own. So Senator Blumenthal is calling for help.

“The federal government must invest in infrastructure. just as it’s doing in bridges, electrification, dams, it must invest in broadband,” Sen. Blumenthal says.

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