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Digital commitment – AOL chief challenges peers

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The high-tech industry must ensure that all Americans have access to the new global environment the industry created – and the same strategies that produce online success can be applied to reduce inequality.

That’s the opinion of America Online chief Steve Case, who writes in a guest column in the Washington Post that government and communities share the responsibility to reduce the “digital divide” between those with technology access and those without access.

Success on the Internet depends on creative networks – between, for example, the public and private sectors, commercial and nonprofit ventures, and traditional and new industries, Case says.

Regions that welcome creative partnerships between the public and private sectors — forging new links between assets and resources — will have more success toward that goal, he says.

He cites several examples in the Washington, D.C., area — including PowerUp, a public-private partnership that provides tech access to children – and says that AOL remains committed to philanthropy even as it merges with Time Warner.

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. 

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly,” Case says, invoking The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.  

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