Affordable, reliable internet access is a necessity.
The digital divide represents the gap in access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet service. This gap is especially pronounced in less densely populated rural areas and among financially disadvantaged customers and communities.
Why is it important to bridge the digital divide?
- Imagine looking into the face of your daughter, tears streaming down her cheeks after she failed a virtual pop quiz again because the internet kept crashing.
- Imagine having to choose whether to pay your broadband bill to keep your telehealth appointment or pay rent.
- Imagine trying to apply for a new job, but the only computer you own hasn’t been turned on in years.
- Imagine trying to research medical terms, seek financial assistance or contact your bank, without understanding ways (or the importance) to first identify safe web sites.
For the majority of Alliant Energy's customers, and for tens of millions of Americans nationwide, circumstances like these are reality. In fact, 67% of our customers in Wisconsin and 75% of our customers in Iowa lack access to reliable and affordable broadband service.
Inequities continue to expand and are impacting so many individuals across our nation. To truly address racial and social injustice and to advance diversity, equity and inclusion—equal access to essential services is a must.
Sitting on the sidelines won’t help. When our customers and the communities we serve thrive and grow, we build a better world – for our children and for generations to come.
Four main reasons the digital divide exists
To successfully eliminate the digital divide involves overcoming several hurdles.
- Many communities and homes have insufficient broadband infrastructure, or none altogether.
- Many individuals lack sufficient funds to pay for internet services where infrastructure does exist.
- Many individuals lack sufficient funds or access to reliable computers, phones, tablets and other devices and software.
- Many individuals don’t know how to use the internet or internet-capable devices safely and effectively.