Monday, May 11, 2009

Jaeger Article

Jaeger et al. (2006) found that 99.6% of all public libraries provided Internet access on their public terminals. However, there were still things related to that access that continued the digital divide. What were the issues?

  • Although nearly all terminals provide internet access, the problem lies in the quantity of terminals available. Many people were still not able to access the internet due to the fact there are simply too few terminals available to use. Also, providing access, and providing adequate access are two different things. True, many libraries provide access, yet there are many rural areas that are being left behind in terms of connectivity speed and bandwidth. Urban areas provide the highest connection speed and bandwidth. More and more bandwidth is being required to withstand the heavy traffic on the servers, and without federal funding, this is becoming increasingly more difficult to accomplish.
  • The government has moved to a “digitally inclusive” standpoint, focusing on how many people are online rather than how many ARE NOT online, leading to decreases in funding. Funding needs to be continuous to keep up with advancing technologies.
  • The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) prevents access from much of the information available on the internet-asking for access to such banned information can be embarrassing and leads to less freedom.

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