16 Days Till Shutdown: Internet Access has become an Economic and Social Justice Issue

October 21, 2015

Today’s Mobile Citizen story features Drexel University in Philadelphia. Only 16 days left till the shutdown. Sign our petition today.

More than 35 percent of Philadelphia’s residents lack Internet access due to cost. Along with 50+ social service and community organizations, Drexel University participates in Keyspot, a program that lends mobile computer labs to non-profit, civic, education and social service agencies in order to bridge the digital divide.

The mobile labs — outfitted with Mobile Citizen hotspots — provide mostly low-income residents with access to mental health and health surveys, job applications and registration and recruitment tools. In 2014-2015, the labs served more than 7,500 residents with over 62,000 hours of Internet access — considerably more than the 6 GB per month of limited access the program will receive after the Sprint shutdown.

“In order to provide poor people with 21st Century skills and tools to combat poverty, they need fast, high-quality Internet access that starts when they are in school and is not restricted after 6 GB,” said Maria Walker, Drexel University’s Project Manager for University and Community Partnerships.

The digital divide is growing in Philadelphia, which has the highest level of poverty amongst the top 10 cities in the nation. The Sprint shutdown will deny low-income residents access to information that could improve their quality of lives and support positive futures, Walker said.

“In a city that continues to battle high unemployment and poverty, unrestricted access to broadband in Philadelphia is one of the means to overcoming economic inequality.”

If you agree that underserved communities in Philadelphia and across the nation deserve effective Internet access, please sign our petition.

Read Drexel University’s full story.