Digital inequity is an issue that continues to plague Baltimore City and many other urban areas across the country. Smalltimore Homes, along with our organizations in Baltimore City, is increasing access to digital technology through education, and its partners, fill the gap with devices such as computers and the internet, which is essential to education, job opportunities, and economic growth. Unfortunately, Baltimore City residents face numerous barriers to access, such as the high cost of computers and internet service, lack of access to physical infrastructure, and limited digital literacy. This can result in educational and economic disparities between those who have digital access and those who do not.
To address this issue, local organizations have been working to provide digital access to underserved populations. For example, the Digital Harbor Foundation provides free access to computers, educational programming, and digital literacy training in underserved Baltimore neighborhoods. The City of Baltimore also provides free Wi-Fi access at some public libraries, parks, and recreation centers.
Despite these efforts to bridge the digital divide, Baltimore City still has a long way to go before digital equity is realized. To further this progress, we must continue to support and invest in programs that provide digital access and digital literacy training to underserved communities. We must also advocate for policies that reduce the cost of computers and internet service, and advocate for investment in physical infrastructure to expand access. Only then can we ensure that all Baltimore City residents have access to the digital tools they need to succeed.