Economist Mike Walden: North Carolina’s Digital Divide


We are all becoming more reliant on computers and in internet.  Buyers use the internet for shopping, businesses use it for ordering supplies, and even students often do their homework using the internet.  But high speed internet isn’t available everywhere in the state.  A new study outlined the issue.  What did it find?

  1. Study released by the NC League of Municipalities
  2. Found high speed – or broadband – internet not available to 640,000 people in the state
  3. Mainly in rural areas in the east, northeast, sandhills, and far west
  4. Report argues there are adverse consequences for economic development, health care, and education
  5. Big question – what to do
  6. One option – wait for new technology – wireless – League says could take too long, and no assurance will be as good as fiber wires
  7. League’s recommended approach – public-private partnerships – says high speed internet is necessary infrastructure just like roads