Testimony on Broadband and the Digital Divide
Due to COVID-19, New Yorkers have been living much of our lives online. Even as New York City slowly re-opens, many continue to rely on the internet to work, attend school, go to the doctor, seek entertainment, and visit with loved ones. Unfortunately, New Yorkers do not all have access to the high-speed internet that would allow us to participate in a hearing like this. Across the five boroughs, between 17 and 20 percent of New Yorkers lack internet access. Predictably, the brunt of the digital divide falls on particular communities. These communities are home to individuals who disproportionately live at the intersection of poverty and structural racism. Forty-six percent of New York City households living below the poverty line do not have home internet access. About 30 percent of Latinx and Black New Yorkers lack broadband internet access, compared with 20 percent of white New Yorkers.