Slower and More Expensive: Internet Pricing Disparities Report

Oct 14, 2022
  • Description

Over the last two years, in California and across the country, billions of public dollars have been allocated to end the digital divide. The Digital Equity LA coalition, supported by the California Community Foundation (CCF) Digital Equity Initiative, has mobilized to ensure these investments are directed to the communities that need them most - those that have been historically marginalized and are disproportionately disconnected - and deployed in support of the most effective long-term solutions.

Low-income households, people of color, and immigrants are significantly more likely to be stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide than people living in wealthy, white neighborhoods. The most common reason disconnected people report for not having a fast and reliable connection is affordability; the price is too high, or the service they can afford isn't fast or reliable enough to justify the expense.

Digital Equity LA and the CCF Digital Equity Initiative set out in this report to document what people are being asked to pay for home internet in diverse neighborhoods across Los Angeles County. The findings of this report are sobering, raising significant red flags about the higher prices many poorer communities are being charged for the same or inferior service, and the implications of those pricing disparities on the effectiveness of current interventions to close the digital divide.

This report is action-driven research intended to lift up the experience of those most affected by inequitable access to broadband. It represents a snapshot documenting the prices on offer to residents of diverse neighborhoods across LA County.