SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC News) — In today’s society, computer clicks are normal sounds that almost go unnoticed in most places, but for some in Onondaga County, they don’t have access to the technology that gives those mouse clicks a purpose.
One in six households in Onondaga County and three in ten Syracuse City households do not have access to internet connection according to findings from the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University.
This lack of access to normal everyday technology is what’s known as the digital divide.
Members of the community who wish to have access to computers or the internet usually find their way to local libraries to do what they need to do.
At the Beachump Branch Library, members and volunteers of Literacy CNY are working to bridge that gap.
Whether it’s putting together a job resume, creating a slideshow of pictures for friends, or finishing an assignment for school, in 2023, it’s on the computer.
Lydia Torres, the digital literacy coordinator for Literacy CNY, expressed the importance of making sure that people in Onondaga County are technologically proficient.
“The digital divide is not only very prominent in Central New York, but actually compared to the rest of the country, very very very prominent,” Torres said. “We decided to increase our programming and offer in addition to our instructional literacy services, digital literacy services.”
In June of 2022, the Onondaga County Legislature committed $15 million to a broadband project that ensures internet use in the rural areas of Central New York, which was announced by Onondaga County Executive, Ryan McMahon, during his State of the County Address.
With contributions to technological infrastructure and one-on-one computer and smart device learning experiences, Onondaga is on its way to being a sound technological area.
For more information on the Falk College findings, please check out the article Closing the Digital Divide.
For more information on the broadband initiative, please head to the 2022 State of the County Address and fast forward to the 39-minute mark.