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Limited Internet Access, Digital Illiteracy Challenges Neighborhood Growth

Roughly 60 percent of households in Detroit do not have access to broadband Internet connectivity, according to the 2013 Census report. In addressing this issue, panelists in the “Combating the Digital Divide: Detroit Disconnected” session said for many living in the city’s neighborhoods, escaping poverty is increasingly out of reach as Internet connectivity remains a necessary platform for job hunting and furthering education.

“It’s not enough to give Detroiters the Internet. It’s about making the Internet relevant for those in the neighborhoods and how people are connecting together,” shared Diana Nucera, community technology director at Allied Media Projects.

In her role, Nucera works on the Detroit Community Technology Project to develop educational materials that empower communities to use media and technology.

Marlin Page stressed the importance of education referencing her company, Sisters Code, which educates, empowers and entices women, ages 25-85, to explore the world of coding and technology.

With Detroit being in the top three worst connected cities, Jerry Paffendorf, co-founder and CEO of Loveland Technologies, encouraged the community to think about collaborative strategies to increase residential broadband adoption. The session was moderated by Daniel Howes of The Detroit News and sponsored by Rocket Fiber.