The Importance of a Neighborhood Transformation Strategy

The Digital Divide is another manifestation of the Economic Divide and the Opportunity Divide. Therefore, an effective Digital Inclusion initiative must reflect the factors and dimensions that comprise the Economic Divide. While California has made significant progress in closing the Digital Divide, statewide home broadband adoption is 79% (with 8% being smart phones only)—leaving 21% of Californians out of the Digital Age and farther and farther behind. Most of those residents on the wrong side of the Digital Divide are low-income households, with 35% not connected with high-speed Internet access. Thus, in order to successfully close the Digital Divide and achieve the goals of 80% statewide broadband adoption (with no one demographic group or region below 70%) and 90% adoption by 2020, the challenges of concentrated, persistent poverty must be addressed in a Digital Inclusion strategy to have optimal impact and sustained success. Hence, CETF is pursuing a Neighborhood Transformation strategy in a “critical mass” of pacesetting jurisdictions to demonstrate the viability and impact of this approach.