From Neighborhoods to Washington: Conclusions and Policy Solutions

Karen Mossberger, Caroline J. Tolbert, William Franko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on policy solutions to address both opportunity and inequalities in effective technology use. Actions can be taken by different levels of government, by both public and private sector actors. Federalism and private sector provision fragment power and authority across geography, and affect the contributions that actors can make in each level and sector. Affordability is a primary reason why Americans offline, not a lack of broadband infrastructure. We consider a range of policies, some under way and some only proposed. These include changes to the Universal Service Fund and low-income subsidy to address the affordability of Internet access in urban areas. Policy solutions need to address the high cost of Internet access in cities, and programs in poor neighborhoods must address both the cost of broadband and the skills that residents need to participate online. Chicago's Smart Communities Initiative is an innovative, but partial solution. We conclude with what we see as a need for continued local initiative, and more equitable federal policy to address the need for digital citizenship in America's cities and rural communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDigital Cities
Subtitle of host publicationThe Internet and the Geography of Opportunity
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199979769
ISBN (Print)9780199812936
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Broadband
  • Chicago
  • Cities
  • Federalism
  • Inequality
  • Internet
  • Public policy
  • Smart communities
  • Technology
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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