Purdue study sheds light on digital divide in Northeastern Indiana
The Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development published a new study on the state of digital inclusion in Northeastern Indiana. The study, which examines broadband infrastructure across Northeastern Indiana and throughout the state, includes a ‘digital divide index’ that hinges on metrics such as internet availability, adoption, and equity. The study found that the digital divide adversely impacts communities in different ways. While rural communities often have lower levels of access to high-speed broadband compared to suburban or urban communities, urban communities and other low-income areas tend to have lower adoption levels because of high costs. ‘We have got to increase awareness about this issue. COVID has helped in that respect, but it will be a challenge that, post-COVID, it will not fade away because it is a big issue. A systematic effort must be undertaken to gather and track more accurate broadband data throughout the state, combining secondary as well as primary data sources,’ noted Purdue Center for Regional Development Director Roberto Gallard.