Public, Private and Non-Profit Interventions in California's Digital Divide: A Case for Thoughtful Action

By John Haffner.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 21, 2014 $US5.00

Ambiguous in nature, the digital divide has come to mean, in relative terms, the gap differentiating the technology haves and have-nots. However, this understanding fails to embody the true nature of the digital divide and the inequities of the current political economy of information. How can the digital divide be understood, instead, as a representation of broader inequities beyond a discrepancy in available technology? Who holds the power within the current political economy of information? How is this power unevenly distributed? How is telecommunications infrastructure important for the development of equitable and just communities? My research examines these questions through case study analysis of the Connected Capital Area Broadband Consortium (CCABC) a collaborative initiative in the Sacramento region seeking to enhance access to and adoption of broadband internet, the prominent telecommunications technology of our time.

Keywords: Broadband, Digital Divide, Participatory Action Research, Community Capitals, Inequity, Community Development, Rural Development, Community-based Technology, Social Justice

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.175-185. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 21, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 484.999KB)).

John Haffner

Graduate Student, Community Development Department, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, USA

John is a Midwestern ex-pat from South Dakota, who moved to California in 2009 as part of the Digital Arts Service Corps; a branch of Americorps VISTA focused on building the service capacity of community-based media and technology organizations. Before that, John received his bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with concentrations in English, communication and media studies. John is currently working on his M.S. degree in community development at U.C. Davis. His thesis research looks to understand the implications of barriers to broadband access and adoption in socioeconomically marginalized communities. In addition to his graduate studies, John has been heavily involved facilitating discussions on the regional health of broadband in the Sacramento area in conjunction with Valley Vision and the Connected Capitals Area Broadband Consortium.

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