Some people carry the internet in their pocket and can't imagine a life without network. Some people have no internet at all and can't imagine a life with email. There is a complex combination of emotional, political and logistical reasons why 35% of Americans have no broadband at home and why 22% do not use the internet at all. We can't start solving the problem until we understand it. We'll untangle and explore those reasons from a variety of urban and rural perspectives, with an eye towards finding solutions and demythologizing the process. We'll give examples and we'll name names.
Fiona Morgan is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Prior to graduate school, Fiona was a journalist and editor for 10 years, most recently a staff writer for the alternative newsweekly, the Independent, in Durham, North Carolina. She wrote a media ecology case study for the New America Foundation's Media Policy Initiative in 2010, examining the community information needs of the Triangle area of N.C. Her interests are media and technology policy, open government, and the future of journalism.
Jessamyn West is a community technologist, librarian, and moderator of the massive group blog MetaFilter. She has recently completed writing "Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide" which will be published in April 2011.
Justin Grimes is a PhD candidate at that University of Maryland's iSchool and a research assistant at the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC) as well as a member of the Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL). His research focuses on information policy and information access specifically open data. He has published numerous journal articles and is currently working on the Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study (PLFTAS), a multi-year project that studies Internet connectivity and technology in public libraries.
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