The need for digital connectivity is only increasing in importance but, with an increase in demand, systems are at risk of being over-strained. Digital connectivity refers to how digital systems interact, but can also more widely apply to how users are able to harness digital skills in different components of their life. Establishing digital literacy can allow users to access existing resources as well as curriculum for further digital learning.
Forbes argues the need to increase digital connectivity hinges on: considering network equipment essential infrastructure, affordability, network expansion while maintaining social distancing, leveraging e-health, and addressing bottlenecks.
Increasing digital connectivity now can better position the Pittsburgh region for future economic change. If future households and workplaces will depend on the ‘internet of things’, digital connectivity must be equitable. As systems such as social service programs, mutual aid relief, and library systems now depend on online outreach, a localized ‘internet of things’ can help streamline assistance.
The COVID-19 crisis further stresses the consequences of a digital divide. Carnegie libraries, which saw a 26% increase in Wifi usage between 2015 and 2016, are shuttered. Affordable at-home high-speed internet is a necessity of the 21st century.