One of the major items on the U.S. government's technology policy agenda has been the spread of internet access, and by extension, the growth of digital literacy. Because so many aspects of personal lives must now be carried out online, such as applying for jobs, completing school work and paying bills, it's become mandatory for nearly everyone to acquire some basic level of knowledge on how to navigate websites, transfer data and communicate through the World Wide Web.
The New York Times published an article recently detailing the Obama administration's efforts to tackle these issues, and how they've had mixed results. On the one hand, 98 percent of U.S. households now have access to broadband internet. They have spent $7 billion on building out infrastructure to reach more homes and users, while spending another $500 million on education programs meant to help more people understand and use the internet.
Although these initiatives have been successful, the percentage of Americans who actually take advantage of the Web has remained relatively flat since President Obama took office in 2009. A recent study by the Commerce Department indicates that usage patterns are closely correlated with problems like income disparities. In particular, older Americans are much less likely to have migrated successfully to the internet, which has prevented many from finding jobs - a major issue considering that the economy is still mending from the Great Recession.
The good news is that computers and internet access are as affordable now as they've ever been. If you've put off connecting your home to the web because of the expense, we highly recommend checking out the PortableOne online store, where you can find a selection of customized laptops for any price point.