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Cleveland's digital divide is real

Marc Lefkowitz  |  02/21/06 @ 5:02pm

A column in last week's Free Times about the realities of Cleveland's 'digital divide' made it to national planning web site Planetizen's syndicated news feed today.

In it local blogger and Cleveland Digital Vision staffer Bill Callaghan deflats the myth that Cleveland is ultra tech savvy—a myth based on recent, national fanfare that Cleveland leads all U.S. cities in internet deployment (whatever that means). While 42 percent of Clevelanders used the 'net in the last 30 days, the percent of poor residents with access to today's technology is "even lower," according to Callaghan. 

Callaghan suggests a few important fixes, including the city adopting and helping residents install open source software such as Ubuntu Linux, free downloads that "are functionally identical to Windows programs — only safer, and less likely to crash or freeze," he writes. "But Cleveland, for some reason, is a dyed-in-the-wool Windows town, where non-geeks are led to believe that Windows and Office are as essential to computing as printed circuits."   

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