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Life Without Internet: A Look into America's Digital Divide

On today's episode of 'The VICE Guide to Right Now Podcast,' Kaleigh Rogers talks about traveling across the country and visiting America's most disconnected communities.

by VICE Staff
Apr 16 2018, 9:03pm

Photo by Julia Rendleman / VICE

More than 24 million Americans don't have access to high-speed internet. Across the country, there are pockets of these communities, sometimes geographically remote, struggling to connect because laying cable is a feat, or because big telecommunications companies don't want to invest in them. This is a huge problem—lack of connectivity also means a widening gap in resources, as much of our work and life increasingly relies on the internet.

So what do you do if you need access to high-speed internet, but can't get it? Locals in Orleans, California, have started nonprofit internet services. Meanwhile, in Marlinton, West Virginia, residents still rely on hubs like the town library for basic access. And in Sharon Township, Michigan—despite its proximity to the university town of Ann Arbor, a tech hub—residents are trying to pass a law that would give them much-needed fiber internet infrastructure.

On this episode of The VICE Guide to Right Now Podcast, we sat down with Motherboard reporter Kaleigh Rogers—who traveled across the country to see the digital divide firsthand for her story in the latest issue of VICE magazine—to hear about what she learned on the road.

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