CETF - On a mission to close the Digital Divide - Page 17
special promotional section challenges for achieving Digital Equity .
“ Now , in light of recent emergencies and crises — devastating wildfires , public safety power shut-offs and a health pandemic — there is a deeper sense of urgency among policymakers and regulators to get everyone online ,” says CETF Board Chair Barbara O ’ Connor . “ The sobering reality is that unconnected and underconnected residents are not only at a distinct disadvantage for educational and economic opportunities , but their very public safety also is at risk because they are not online . That is why CETF calls digital access a 21st Century Civil Right and continues to forge ahead with focus and accountability in the quest for Digital Equity .”
First , the good news : the survey report shows that home broadband adoption is increasing — up more than two percentage points from 2019 , the last time the Statewide Survey was conducted .
Equally encouraging is the finding that in the past two years , the proportion of California households connecting to the internet through a home computing device — a desktop , laptop or tablet computer — has increased from 78 % to 85 %. At the same time , the number of households with only a smartphone to access the internet ( which is considered “ underconnected ”) has declined from 10 % to 6 %, which means fewer people are at a significant disadvantage for internet navigation and other digital functionality needed for vital activities like distance learning and telehealth .