Broadband Communities

Show Guide 2019

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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94 BROADBAND COMMUNITIES SUMMIT 2019 Show Guide Sponsor WHITE PAPER The internet of things is, by definition, dependent on the internet. But what if you don't have internet? What if millions of Americans don't have internet access at home? This isn't a hypothetical question; it is a real problem. In 2018, the internet and device technology have achieved such a level of ubiquity, functionality and speed that they have become broadly incorporated into modern life, including energy policy and operations. That ubiquity is expected to increase, and policymakers, regulators, energy companies, environmental groups, and researchers all operate with the implicit assumption that the electricity grid of the future will be tied to a real-time communications loop facilitated by the internet. But that implicit (and in some cases explicit) incorporation into policy assumes everyone has access to the same technologies at the same rate. That is a demonstrably false assumption with real-world implications for households, policymakers and communities at large. DIGITAL DIVIDE – SIZE AND SCOPE There is no official government definition of the digital divide, although it is generally understood as a divide between technology haves and have-nots. However, for policymakers and regulators, it is useful ENERGY POLICY AND THE DIGITAL DIVIDE Broadband deployment and adoption are insufficient to meet the needs of demand response and the smart grid. Evidence from California shows what can be done to remedy the problem. By Lloyd Levine, University of California Riverside to have a clearly articulated definition. The best definition we find comes from the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), which defines the digital divide "… as the condition when significant segments of the population do not have access or are not using technology at the same rate and manner as the average." More specifically, CETF applies a "general rule in statistical variation in populations, and a divide exists if any segment of the population is 10 percentage points or more away from the population as a total (or average)." Figure 1 draws on data from the Annual Broadband Adoption Survey commissioned by CETF and conducted by IGS Berkeley and shows that since 2010, broadband adoption in California has held steady at approximately 70 percent. That translates to 3.8 million households that lack meaningful internet access at home, with the vast majority – 3.2 million – being in urban areas where lack of access is not the problem. An additional 4.78 Figure 1

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