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2021PST 367Question 1When the pandemic hit the United States, there was a significant digital divide. If given the chance to rewind the clock to March 2020 and give the City of Syracuse 1-year to solve the problem, there would be a new policy implemented. The new policy to advocate to accomplish this goal would be to increase affordability. The general answer is to start to tackle the issues of poverty, low education levels, and poor infrastructure. The focused answer is to increase affordability. There is a large group that cannot access the internet because the cost involved is too high (Steel, 2018).My own thoughts on the situation is when it happened, I know a lot of students who wereattending college that counted on the computers at school as well as the internet to do their course work. There are people who returned home that didn’t have access to a computer and internet to attend class online or to do their work. As these students depended on the school to provide the resources for them to succeed, they were let down and some even didn’t finish that semester. I think this is very unfortunate for those students especially those who were so close to graduating. As there were resources like the Cares Act that helped many of the students, there aremany that didn’t have knowledge on what the Cares Act was and didn’t use it. So even though we all attend Syracuse University, we are not provided the same information. I found out about the Cares Act from my family friends in Tucson, Arizona. I almost experienced that digital divide but was fortunate not to have. Fortunately, the Cares Act was able to help not only myself but my family with COVID. I was able to help pay bills and was able to get a better working computer to hold my data. In the reading, “give everybody the internet” by Emily Stewart, it discusses how there arepeople gathering around to try to get wifi because indoor service is largely shut down. “The divide is both rural and urban and tied to both access and inclusion” (Stewart, 2020). Increasing affordability policy during this time would help those who don’t have access broadband because the infrastructure isn’t in place. This has to do with affordability because Pew research found thathalf of non-broadband users still do not subscribe to the service because it is too expensive. During Covid, without internet it is costly for those in school because it means losing the education and for workers it means doing their jobs. Nearly one in five households earn $30,000 or less, the $60-a-month for internet option which is the national average is really only an option if you have the $60. “The American economy continues to digitalize at an astounding pace, but tens of millions of American households cannot access the digital economy due to physical aps in local broadband networks, unaffordable subscriptions plans and person devices, and a a lack of digital skills” (Tomer & Fishbane, 2020). Digital is the new way of life and if we don’t get everyone on board, they are going to get left behind and more issues will occur. The steps to increase affordability is to understand the low-income family and what they are making and to also understand how the internet is needed. It would need to start with how cheap we would be able to offer internet and then doing a quick income check on families purchasing internet. The steps necessary would be verifying the income of families to be able to provide the low-income families with the cheapest possible option since the internet is a necessity. The New York State may need to help fund this as it is an important issue happening in New York. The target timeline of this policy would be a maximum of a week. This gives the time for a quick check of income and getting the users the internet as fast as possible. The feasibility of this policy being implemented is high. Internet providers in the long run business.Those low-income families without internet are now given the chance and opportunity in the world as the world is now online. The effectiveness of this policy is also very high, if this was implemented it would help many people in area in different way. Mostly not having the digital divide. Students could’ve attended courses from home safe instead of seeking internet or even dropping out. Those who work could have kept their jobs once it went online. That also goes for equity it would be helping the community as a whole become better. From this, other cities would see the change and start implementing same policies. In Module 1 Lecture, we can see that daily activities and necessities are all connected to the internet (The Connected City, Slide 31). For example, water, governance, power, transportation, emergency services, law enforcement and healthcare are all connect to the internet. There are some problems when it comes to population density and the disconnected users as well as the public infrastructure. When creating a scale to reach more people and reaching those disconnected users we run into the problem of no locations for the equipment. When having population density and the public infrastructure there can be a problem on connecting unnecessary users. When all three are involved, this is ideal (The Connect City, Slide 58). “Embedded in these technologies, and the social changes they beget, is politics” (Green & Franklin-Hodge, 2020). Technology is going to help social change which we are trying to do andit will have our communities become stronger. ReferenceGreen, B., & Franklin-Hodge, J. (2020). The smart enough city: Putting technology in its place to reclaim our Urban future. The MIT Press.Module 1 Lecture Slides, The Connect City Steel, C. (2018, November 16). Top Five Digital Divide Solutions. Digital Divide Council. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from http://www.digitaldividecouncil.com/top-five-digital-divide-solutions/. Stewart, E. (2020, September 10). Give everybody the internet. Vox. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/9/10/21426810/internet-access-covid-19-chattanooga-municipal-broadband-fcc.Tomer, A., & Fishbane, L. (2020, July 23). Bridging the digital divide through Digital Equity Offices. Brookings. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://www.brookings.edu/research/bridging-the-digital-divide-through-digital-equity-offices/.West, D. M. (2018, November 16). Top Five Digital Divide Solutions. Digital Divide Council. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from

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