Digital Divide: 55,000 Austinites without Internet access

Courtesy: Fotolia via AP

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many people in the digital age have a hard time disconnecting from the online world. However, in Austin there are roughly 55,000 people who are without internet access.

Several community groups want to help Austinites who either don’t have internet service or prefer not to connect online. The first Digital Inclusion Day at the Digital Resource Fair is Friday afternoon at Austin Community College’s Highland Campus.

The goal is to let everyone know about the online resources available to help them with job searches or their quality of life. Austinites can meet with over 20 community organizations who offer programs from computer classes to free one-on-one internet guidance lessons.

Attendees might even win one of the four free desktop computers or 10 smartphones given away by the Austin Free-Net and Skillpoint Alliance. You can also get a tour of Austin’s virtual public library.

A digital assessment of Austin showed that 42 percent of Austinites who don’t use the internet say it is because they are without someone to teach them how. Additionally, 37 percent of those who don’t use the internet say it is because it is too difficult.

The program coordinator, John Spiers said, “There are 55,000 adults in the Austin area who are disconnected from the digital community, and as a result, disconnected from career opportunities and resources to manage their lives. The first Digital Resource Fair is a joint effort of the community to expose the public to available online resources that will better their quality of life.”

The free fair starts at noon and goes to 4 p.m.

Don’t miss these organizations at the fair:

  • AMP360
  • Austin Energy
  • Austin Free-Net
  • AISD
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas
  • Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Capital IDEA
  • Code Orange
  • Google Fiber
  • Literacy Coalition of Central Texas
  • Microsoft
  • Texas Technology Access Program
  • And many more!

 

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