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The fundamental right to connectivity

Luke Templeman

Apjit Walia

In this episode
The pandemic has shown how the ‘haves’ are more resilient than the ‘have-nots’. Much of this is based on the gap between the two groups based on their access to technology. The divide in the US runs deepest along race and location (urban versus rural). To narrow this gap, we lay out our vision to develop an initiative that covers the more than half of households without proper broadband connection and a computer.

The fundamental right to connectivity
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What we discuss
  • The founding fathers gave Americans several basic rights with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the inalienable rights. This decree that was signed almost 230 years ago with several amendments continues to evolve, and with the events of this year, a basic question comes to mind. Do we need to have tech connectivity as a fundamental right for every American?
  • Earlier this year, we ran a survey of Americans with dbDIG where we asked how important tech connectivity is to them. The responses were fascinating from across all age groups but the ones from 16-24 year olds showed us where we might be headed as a society. More than one in three Americans in this age cohort said connectivity is more important to them than food; 11 per cent said it is more important than air.
  • Given the level of entrenchment tech connectivity has reached in the socio-psychological roots of the country, it is only a matter of time before this premise will start to gain a much larger narrative nationally. As covid has shown, not having tech connectivity does not just impact one’s quality of life or their “pursuit of happiness” as the founding fathers wanted us to have, lack of tech in the year of 2020 could be a death sentence.
  • With the economy recovering post-covid in a potential K shape, the haves seem to be recovering faster but the have-nots are struggling even further. Inequities have manifested in many places, and significantly in Tech. This Tech divide in America runs deepest along two vectors: 1) The gap that is based primarily on race, 2) The gap that exists between urban and rural areas.
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