1. Research project on the E-Rate. The E-rate has been mentioned in several of the class readings and is a government program that provides discounted access to the Internet and computers for schools and libraries across the nation. Originally set up after the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the E-rate program has been running for almost ten years. I plan on researching it’s initial goals and why this program had not fully bridged the digital divide.
2. Research project on wireless Internet access. It seems clear to me that wireless access is the next step in Internet technology and something that has the potential to help remedy the digital divide. Several cities around the country are looking into offering citywide wireless access, including Madison, but Philadelphia is garnering the most press and I will focus on that city’s efforts to offer Internet access, the positive impact it will have on the digital divide in Philadelphia and this technology-driven nation.