Wired Less: Disconnected in Urban America

Published on
Internet for Everyone

Wired Less: Disconnected in Urban America

For many Americans living in urban areas, high-speed Internet access remains elusive.

Much of the discussion about broadband expansion in the United States focuses on the rural areas that still lack this essential infrastructure. As we documented in our earlier report, Five Days on the Digital Dirt Road, residents in rural areas are struggling to live and work without high-speed Internet.

But this snapshot only shows a part of the picture of the digital divide in America. Even in some of our most tech-savvy wired cities, millions of people – particularly low-income households, immigrant populations and senior citizens – do not have high-speed Internet in their homes or businesses. (more...)


"Not having access means not being informed."

Story One: Offline in L.A.

The digital divide disproportionately affects people of color, and
in L.A., the Latino population is suffering. Teenagers Lily Huerta and
Julian Rosas' aspirations are stifled by the lack of access, and Albert
Tovar says the Azusa Public Library can barely keep up with the demand
for Internet service. (more...)


"You're missing a giant portion of the world."

Story Two: A Connection Changes Family's World

After struggling for years using a slow dial-up connection, the
Quintero family has been transformed by finally getting high-speed
Internet in their home. (more...)


"Other people don't have that struggle because they have Internet."

Story Three: Desperately Needing the Net in El Monte

12-year-old Michael Ibarra dreams of a day when he'll be able to
actually do his homework from home, with an Internet connection that
many in America take for granted. (more...)


"Having access for a limited period of time is not preparing [kids] for the future."

Story Four: D.C. Kids Want Internet

When the bell rings at the end of the school day, students like
11-year-old Alexis Boyce at D.C.'s Arts and Technology Academy return
to an offline world, and teacher Ashea Williams worries about the
future. (more...)


"The people who aren't connected are losing."

Story Five: Left Out in the Cold in D.C.

Carpenter Ferman Fletcher wants to pursue a new career in music
using the Internet, but can't afford a high-speed connection and is
thwarted by the limitations of public computers. (more...)


America Offline

InternetforEveryone.org is working to shed light on the millions
of Americans who live without regular Internet access or lack the
training or equipment to get online. A small reporting team is
traveling to communities across the country to tell people's stories. Free Press' Megan Tady
interviewed residents of Los Angeles, Calif., and Washington, D.C. On
this site, you can follow our trek and get an up-close view of
America's urban digital divide.

Wired Less: Disconnected in Urban America

A report on life without the Internet in urban America »

Share this article