By Phineas Rueckert
Jamaica, Hollis and St. Albans residents were more than twice as likely to lack access to broadband internet as their neighbors in Sunnyside and Woodside, according to a report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office that highlights the jarring digital divide citywide ahead of the 2020 census.
Immigrant communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by a lack of access to broadband internet, according to the report released Tuesday. These communities will need to be engaged in different ways in the lead-up to next year’s census, such as through expanding digital access at public libraries and via census kiosks, Stringer’s report found.
“This shift from paper to digital outreach is intended to leverage new technologies and reduce costs, but will also have profound implications for the many New Yorkers who lack access to an internet connection,” the report found.
More than 30,000 residents in Jamaica, Hollis and St. Albans — nearly half of the population of the three neighborhoods — found themselves without broadband internet in 2017, according to the most recent available statistics. That’s in contrasts to the fewer than 10,000 people (about one in four) in communities like Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck.
Here’s how other Queens neighborhoods compared in terms of broadband access:
Jamaica, Hollis and St. Albans - 43 percent lack access to broadband
Flushing, Murray Hill and Whitestone - 41 percent
Elmhurst and South Corona - 35 percent
Sunnyside and Woodside - 20 percent
Howard Beach and Ozone Park - 20 percent
Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck - 22 percent