“Panel to offer solutions for crossing ‘digital divide’”

The Advocate this morning carries a short story on the reconvening of the digital divide committee that submitted its ideas to the council two years ago.—The plan was the endorsed by the council in an ordinance. The basic idea is pretty straightforward:

The plan is to have the committee come up with concrete ways to implement some of its prior recommendations, LUS Director Terry Huval said at a Lafayette City-Parish Council meeting last month…

It likely will take 18 months for the first customer to receive service, LUS officials have said.

The digital-divide work will follow that same 18-month timeline, so that those plans will be rolled out at the same time as service, Huval said.

He said the committee will update the council on its work in July.

It’s worth emphasizing that charge in this round will be to come up with concrete ways to implement the points in the original plan. It will mean getting down to the nitty-gritty of who does what–and where any necessary money will come from.

It won’t all be administrative work, however: considerable thought will also need to be devoted to thinking about ways to implement the report’s principles. The original plan established a series of “core principles” and suggested examples of ways to enact those principles. In the two years since the report was issued several of its more futuristic suggestions have actually become fairly commonplace. For instance, suggestions that the speed of Lafayette’s system would make it practical to put basic programs like word processing or spreadsheets on servers to cut down on the costs of participation sounded a little like science fiction. In the subsequent two years several major players are providing such services cheaply. Indeed, Google has a whole suite of such online programs. The passage of merely two years makes this particular attempt cut down on the costs of entering the digital world a foregone conclusion.

It should be very interesting and well-worth following.

2 thoughts on ““Panel to offer solutions for crossing ‘digital divide’””

  1. I hope they work on a better schedule than the roads here in lafayette. Our elected officials lie!!

    John you believe everything they say

  2. Anonymous person,

    I don’t believe everything anybody says. But I do believe that some folks are well-intentioned and are honestly trying.

    I also believe that some folks have bad intentions–or at least an ugly urge to denigrate those people who are trying to do the right thing without actually taking on the responsibility of doing the right thing themselves.

    But hey, that’s me.