[URBAN NOTE] "39% Of Households In The City Of Detroit Cannot Read This Post"
I found via somewhere this Daily Detroit article talking about the city of Detroit's terrible issues with mass communications. Suggesting that this is a contributing factor to the city's issues does not at all strike me as wrong.
An interesting statistic popped up in a conversation earlier this week. More than 100,000 Detroit households, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey for 2013, have no access to Internet. No hard line, no cell with data or mobile hotspot for 39.9% of the more than 255,000 active households in the city.
The numbers get worse. When you throw out those with a cellphone with mobile data, and count only hard lines (which have higher speeds, more reliability, and most times no real data caps) the number jumps to more than half – 56.9% in Detroit without access.
A third troubling statistic is that more than 70% of Detroit schoolchildren don’t have Internet access. So those tens of thousands of netbooks Detroit students got awhile back? Most times, there was nothing at home for them to hook up to. Especially when it comes to netbooks, without the Internet the machine is basically a doorstop.
These data points weren’t passed around in the local press much, but these are numbers that need to be paid attention to. No matter how he tries, even the mighty Dan Gilbert and his dream of turning Woodward into “Webward” will stop at Grand Boulevard next to the last stop of the M1 Rail unless there’s wide effort put into this nuts-and-bolts problem.
No one person or organization can do this alone, and admittedly, this problem is harder to solve than hiring a few extra waitstaff at a hip bar. Both Google and Facebook are active in getting Internet to the corners of the world. How about bringing that outreach to Detroit?