“Have you seen ‘Charlie Bit My Finger?’” Trelena Thomas asked through a tempered laugh when calhealthreport.org met up with her to film the final piece in our three-part series on the family. Since carrying her San Diego Broadband Initiative computer through the door of her Mid-City apartment a week ago, family time has come to include YouTube favorites. But what’s more, Thomas has connected to services and groups that promise to improve her family’s quality of life–her middle daughter has already climbed half a reading level thanks to an online reading program.
Equalizers like this are what inform efforts aimed at closing the digital divide. According to the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of households with an income less than $30,000 have home access to information on the Web, compared to nearly 90 percent of those making $75,000 or more. The median household income in Thomas’s neighborhood is less that $24,000, according to a San Diego planning agency.