NYC, Broadband, Poverty, the Library, and Signing Out Wifi

Digital access and literacy are what clean water and universal education were to the beginning of the 20th century – society requires them for progress, they must be treated as universal rights without exception.

The New York Public Library is now lending portal mobile wifi hotspots to 10,000 families as part of a $1-million dollar program sponsored by Google.

It’s an interesting stop-gap measure to address poverty’s barriers of access to digital life and information.

Is this the beginning of municipal internet services, much as water has become a universal service?

I’ve been watching New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration with interest as part of reading about municipal politics in the book “If Mayors Ruled the World”.

Basically, the book’s author argues the City-State is returning and big city mayors are acting more as heads of states in addressing social and economic problems than the federal states they live in.

In NYC, de Blasio is committed to making broadband universal and affordable. Let’s hope he succeeds because once any North America city reaches 100% digital access, other cities will follow suit and we’ll ensure all citizens are able to become digitally literate.

We know our federal governments don’t have the stomach for big projects, its up to cities to move our society forward.