The Digital Divide is Not News

September 24, 2020
morning consult

With COVID-19 throwing the digital divide into sharper focus, a 2019 Internet Hall of Fame inductee has some long- and short-term ideas about how to address the problem. 

A former assistant Secretary of Commerce, Larry Irving served for seven years as administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and was one of the main architects of telecommunications policy in the Clinton White House.  

In an opinion piece published Aug. 31 by Morning Consult, Irving offered the Federal Communications Commission several specific steps to address the digital divide. Among them are redefining broadband from a minimum speed of 25 megabytes per second to 100 megabytes per second and using public spaces, including libraries and schools, to help provide greater connectivity. 

“We have a clear path toward full broadband connectivity,” he wrote. “We can and should make connecting all Americans a national priority. We don’t have another quarter-century to waste.”