Humanity as a whole has fallen victim to Digital Inequality. The difference in formal training between the digital elite and those in the dregs is far too great. Essentially, it has to do with the way that different people use the internet. The majority of the online population is left unaware of the profound ways that cyberspace can benefit their lives. Instead, most of the world is busy taking selfies and reposting memes while the elite profit off of them. theZAP works to bridge the gap between the digital elite and those in the dregs by making knowledge on emerging technologies more accessible. A template exists that can solve this issue if we can accept the invisible digital world as a landscape. Much like land value capture in city planning, digital land value capture is a toolbox that can be used to build an enriching online community.
The internet is thought of as an intangible structure but we must rid ourselves of this notion and begin thinking of it as if it were land. Then, we will be able to tackle the issue of digital inequality in the same way that authorities create and nurture cities. The way that city planners are able to design a metropolis utilizes a virtuous cycle of development, accessibility, value capture and infrastructure.
The focal point of this cycle, that the other elements are built around, is the land itself. The land value capture relies on the amount of traffic to a location. The variable that controls the amount of traffic is known as accessibility and an authority creates infrastructure to control the amount of it. This funneling and directing of traffic is what increases the value of specific locations and concentrates a city into districts.
If we were to consider using this model of city planning to make healthy internet usage more accessible, then there should be a way for digital inequality to be dissolved. Infrastructure can be created to keep large corporations from controlling online traffic and tipping the digital land value capture in their own favor. This is the situation that the present system has put us in and is why we need to make an effort to reprogram its operation. The way that the internet currently works is as if a private company placed a toll booth in front of every building that you walk into. An answer to this problem exists! We must hold those accountable for the way things are being operated and we must regulate the infrastructure in interest of the masses.