COVID-19 Reveals the Digital Divide Among Cities

In a Forbes article, Guidehouse explains how internet access via smart cities can create greater social equitability

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many bars, restaurants, and offices, to be shuttered. Additionally, schools are moving to remote classes across the world, which is creating a live experiment of large-scale, remote education through digital portals.

In a Forbes article, Guidehouse’s Grant Samms, research analyst, explained how remote, digital learning is revealing socioeconomic divides in cities and how smart cities can help bridge this gap.

As school districts implement emergency digital classrooms, many students lack internet access. Some cities are using previously established public WiFi, while others are taking a more creative approach to get access to students. Samms believes that the digital divide is a key focus for smart cities. 

“As show[n] by the COVID-19 crisis, lack of reliable access to online services can cause significant disruptions; especially to lower [socioeconomic status] individuals,” Samms said. “Some municipalities are using new smart city infrastructure to close this divide.”

"By implementing...access programs, smart cities are laying a foundation of digital equity for their communities that can be called upon by all residents," Samms explained.

Read the Forbes Article
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