The Role of ISPs in Bridging the Digital Divide
Millions of people in North America do not have access to a reliable Internet connection. By focusing on heavily populated regions, major providers create digital divides between the areas they don't reach with their services.
In this way, it's very clear that local Internet Service Providers (ISP), like Amplex, play a role in bridging the gap. Let's take a closer look…
What Is the Digital Divide?
The difference in Internet access between cities and rural areas is called the "digital divide." Roughly 47% of the global population is affected by it, as are 25 million Americans. The digital gap can be so big that some places don't have any way to connect to the Internet at all. In addition, the quality of service and connection speeds in cities are much better than those in rural areas.
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The Digital Divide in Ohio
In Ohio, there is a striking disparity between people who do and do not have access to broadband Internet at home. There are still a lot of rural communities that lack basic Internet access. However, even in cities with connectivity, the cost is often a concern.
About 18% of Ohio families do not own a personal computer, and 10.9% do not have access to broadband Internet. Although some homes benefited from connectivity programs tied to COVID-19, almost a million Ohio residents still don't have Internet access. There are currently 236,026 homes without access to wireline infrastructure that can provide at least the bare minimum regarding Internet speeds.
Importance of a Reliable Internet Connection
High-speed Internet access has been linked to significant improvements in productivity, well-being, and general quality of life. During the pandemic, it became more common for people to work from home as a safety measure. This is likely to continue, but it depends on having a stable Internet connection.
Virtual doctor appointments could make it easier for people in underserved areas to get health care, but they are only as useful as the speed and reliability of the Internet that connects patients to their doctors. Companies of all sizes need constant connection to the web to take advantage of emerging innovations and remain competitive in today's economy.
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The Role of ISPs
By utilizing unique approaches to business, rural and regional ISPs are ideally positioned to close the broadband access gap. Here are a few ways they can help:
- Affordable plans from ISPs can be improved to include enough bandwidth for necessities like online classes and video calls with doctors.
- If ISPs would treat low-income customers respectfully and refrain from upselling them, this would go a long way toward removing a significant barrier to consumers from subscribing.
- ISPs can boost their marketing efforts to inform more households that they qualify.
- Create a genuine public-private relationship with government agencies to aid in the promotion of low- or no-cost starting packages.
The Bottom Line
About a million residents in Ohio cannot access broadband Internet at home. Those who want and can afford high-speed Internet access are unable to do so because they do not live in areas with adequate communication networks. Coordination between ISPs like Amplex, the federal government, businesses, and other key players in the affected areas can help close the digital gap.
As an ISP, Amplex Internet fully supports the Federal Communication Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) program.
The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet
service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on
qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time
discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from
participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50
toward the purchase price.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount per household. To review important facts, terms, conditions, and determine if you qualify please visit https://www.fcc.gov/acp and review the ACP FAQ page.
Get a Reliable and High-performance Internet Connection When You Need It
If you're looking for fast and reliable Internet access in rural areas, look no further than Amplex Internet. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you stay connected.