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Liu: A Staggering Number Of NYC Households Have No Internet Access

City Comptroller John Liu in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel - Feb. 12, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

City Comptroller John Liu in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel – Feb. 12, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — City Comptroller John Liu said this week that over a third of Bronx households have no Internet access or computer.

Liu told 1010 WINS the situation really puts the borough’s children at a disadvantage in the classroom.

“We have 37 percent of households in the Bronx without Internet access, and significant percentages in the other boroughs as well,” Liu said. “This is the 21st century, and in order for our kids to get a real solid education, we need to get them access to computers and the Internet.”

If that does not happen, Liu said, the situation will get worse for those without access.
“What we’re seeing is that there are too many kids in our public schools who don’t have access to computers at home, and this digital divide is going to impair their ability to get a solid foundation and education,” he said.

In order to be prepared fully for college and work, accessible technology is necessary, Liu said.

And while smartphones and tablets allow children to use the Internet in new ways, the computer at home is still a necessity, Liu said.

“There are smartphone app competitions out there to allow students to access the Internet, but what we’re saying is that we also need to get students real computers that they can do research on – much more versatile and useful than just the applications that are available on smartphones,” he said.

The best-connected borough is Staten Island, where only 12 percent of households are without computers at home, Liu said. A total of 17 percent of households in Queens, 23 percent in Manhattan, and 24 percent in Brooklyn are likewise without access, he said.

What do you think should be done to bridge the digital divide? Please leave your comments below…