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The Internet Google Networking The Almighty Buck

Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse? 259

theodp writes "As Google Fiber forges ahead into new metro areas, Michael Brick reports on worries the fiber project will create a permanent underclass. Building the next generation of information economy infrastructure around current demand, experts say, will deny poor people the physical wiring needed to gain access while the privileged digerati advance at hyperspeed. 'The fiber service deployment means multiplicity of the digital divide, multidimensionality of the digital divide,' says Eun-A Park of the Univ. of New Haven. 'You can see it in Google's trial in Kansas City.' Speed matters, explains Google, 'because a world with universal access and 100 times faster internet could mean 100 times the learning.' Without universal access, as is the case in KC due to pricing that's out of the reach of many of the city's poor, one presumes the outcome could be 100x the learning divide. Another case of the unintended consequences of good intentions?"
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Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse?

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  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:22PM (#46305837)

    I'd like to hear more about this.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:37PM (#46306003)

    the only reason i have 20/2 is for netflix and youtube. the latter being the most educational, but the educational videos can be played on slower speeds
    everything else would work with under 10mbps internet
    wikipedia doesn't need 1gbps and that's the most educational site there is

    there is only one reason for fast internet and that's to make you spend more money buying on impulse. 1gpbs you can buy that movie NOW instead of waiting for the blu ray. or get that PS4 game NOW instead of driving to gamestop or best buy or waiting on amazon

  • by ynp7 ( 1786468 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:43PM (#46306073)

    Man, wait until he/she finds out that Comcast is charging us $80/month for a fraction of that speed.

  • by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:52PM (#46306149)

    You can't hold back progress just because not everyone has gotten aboard the train. That train is leaving just as soon as it can make a buck.

    Po'boy can't get no youtube lickitysplit on an ol' busted DSL line, but he can still browse wikipedia. And back when he couldn't get wikipedia he could still hit up a library. And I imagine people will complain that the poor unwashed masses with their slow and broken fiber lines won't be able to access the hivemind as quickly as and as comfortably as his rich relatives.

    You're bitching that the digital divide is increasing because someone is plowing ahead. The poor will always be playing catchup. It's part of what makes them poor. And sure, that sucks. But would you blame the Wright brothers for keep the poor downtrodden and earthbound while making a device that only the rich could afford? No. So please, kindly, GTFO of the way of progress. CHOO CHOO!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:56PM (#46306167)

    What they can have is incompetent unionized teachers that can't be fired, high taxes, failing infrastructure, and endemic government corruption.

    Because that's what they vote for.

    See also: Detroit.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright