SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Imagine not being able to have access to the internet. That’s the case for some people in Sioux Falls, where 1 in 4 homes have no internet subscription, with more than 10% of households have no internet connection.
On Wednesday, community leaders explained the next step they are taking to bridge the digital divide in Sioux Falls. And how you can get involved.
Most of the time accessing the internet can be as easy as pulling out your smartphone or using a computer. But there are some people that face barriers when it comes to accessing and understanding technology.
“It’s a very critical utility to conduct your day to day life, whether that be your healthcare demands and needs, whether that’s communicating physician or communicating digitally through email, whether that’s looking for a job, there’s so many things that we rely on the internet, that without it, we simply can’t do,” Sioux Falls Mayor, Paul TenHaken said.
In 2020 the IDEA Task Force formed to research digital equity in the city.
“We identified three key needs within the community, one that’s access to broadband internet, we have to get people connected to the internet, and then two you have to have a device that can do this, and you have to have a device that is reliable and compatible with what technology is offering today, and then lastly, you have to have the skills to be able to do that, so we need to look at digital literacy,” director of innovation and technology, City of Sioux Falls, Mike Grigsby said.
Now IDEA, or inclusive digital equity alliance, wants community members to get involved by finding ways to implement that information.
“This will be a coalition of community members, you don’t have to have any special background or training or skills, you just have to understand there is a need in the community and be willing to lean in with it,” Grigsby said.