ICT as a Public Good: Community Building and Expanding U.S. Self-Sufficiency Policy

ICT as a Public Good: Community Building and Expanding U.S. Self-Sufficiency Policy

Richard L. O’Bryant (Northeastern University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-838-3.ch010
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Abstract

The presence of information and communication technologies, in particular the Internet, has the potential to be leveraged to address some of society’s most persistent social challenges. This chapter, through the case study of Internet use at Camfield Estates, a low-income housing development in Boston, Massachusetts, argues that public policy should view information and communication technology access as a public good for community building and self-sufficiency. The chapter examines U.S. historical policy efforts to assist low-income individuals and families. It takes on the social–antisocial debate and effects of Internet use for community building. It also presents some of the findings from the Camfield Estates–MIT Creating Community Connections Project and analyzes its meaning for nearly 40 low-income families that were equipped with a personal computer and two years of high-speed Internet connectivity.

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