San Francisco – Today, CAA is releasing a report, San Francisco’s Digital Deserts: How San Francisco Chinatown and Other Neighborhoods Are Left Behind In the Digital Divide, which examines the lack of affordable and reliable broadband internet access in Chinatown. Without quality broadband access, students struggle to complete their homework, families find it difficult to search for jobs or access essential services, senior citizens stay isolated, and small businesses are hindered in their ability to compete in the digital economy. 

Improving broadband access requires addressing a myriad of digital inequities in Chinatown. For one, there’s a lack of options available when it comes to high-speed cable. Only Comcast offers this, but it does not serve Chinatown. The high cost of internet subscriptions is also prohibitive for low-income community members — 33% of Chinatown residents live below the poverty line. And upgrading internet infrastructure in Chinatown is a challenge when many buildings are over 100 years old.

Key Findings

  1. Our internet speed and pricing analysis of 105 addresses across San Francisco found that AT&T, one of the largest internet service providers in the city, charged high-poverty addresses the same amount for slower plans compared to faster plans in low-poverty addresses. This means that higher poverty neighborhoods get less for the same price.
  1. Of the nine broadband internet providers available in Chinatown, only one offers high-speed cable and fiber internet is virtually non-existent, meaning residents only have a few options for high-speed internet. This lack of choice fuels high prices for Chinatown’s residents.
  1. Almost half of Chinatown households (44%) do not have an internet broadband subscription and for those who do, the internet is slow and unreliable.

“During the pandemic, many low-income families struggled to pay for reliable high-speed internet, especially families with multiple school-age children with remote learning needs,” the report says. “Families spoke about the difficulty of getting multiple kids connected, affordability, and strong connectivity.” Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) worked with the city to outfit two Single Room Occupancy (SRO) buildings with internet. “We also worked with the city and several providers to pass out Wi-Fi hotspots to over 200 to close the digital gap for students and their families,” says Jennifer Chan, Director of Programs- Youth Leadership Development & Empowerment at CCDC. 

Anisha Hingorani, CAA’s Policy Manager, believes that “Chinatown deserves to have a variety of affordable options for broadband internet access. This lack of choice and competition for broadband access fuels high prices for Chinatown residents and disincentivizes the expansion of vital infrastructure growth. When this happens, communities of color like Chinatown lose out on the digital economy and the connectivity that comes with high-speed internet.” 

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents Chinatown, said his office allocated $200,000 to the San Francisco Department of Technology to pilot a program to “outfit free high-speed internet in privately-owned SRO buildings with a high number of low-income residents.” His office worked with a local SRO tenant advocacy group to identify buildings with a high number of seniors and school-age children and youth who have become reliant on the internet to participate in distance learning or access social services during the pandemic. Of the 12 possible SROs in Chinatown that were identified for this upgrade, only five buildings participated in the installation project. However, for the five buildings that did participate, the tenants experienced a significantly enhanced quality of life by accessing faster and more reliable connectivity to the rest of the world.

According to the Pew Research Center, 95% of U.S. adults say they use the internet. But the internet is not cheap. It takes an incredible amount of infrastructure – cables, fiber, networks — to move data at high-speeds from one location to another. In 2021, the Biden administration passed the federal infrastructure bill to fund high-speed internet, awarding states like California $1.8 billion to close the digital divide. The Federal Communication Commission rolled out the Affordable Connectivity Program to assist low-income families with internet subsidies, but the program is slated to run out of money this April unless Congress allocates additional funding.

Download the report here.


Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) was founded in 1969 to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. Today, CAA is a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial and social injustice. You can learn more about us at

Chinese Translation


2024 年 3 月 24 日

聯絡人:Sin Yen Ling,傳播總監,英語和粵語)

華人權益促進會CAA 發布關於舊金山唐人街如何於使用電子數碼網路服務問題中被忽略的報告

舊金山— 今天,華人權益促進會 CAA 發布了一份報告,《舊金山的電子數碼沙漠:舊金山唐人街和其他社區如何在於使用電子數碼網路服務方面落後於其他地區》,該報告調查了唐人街缺乏負擔得起且可靠的寬頻網路的情況。如果沒有高品質的寬頻網路服務,學生很難完成作業,家庭很難找到工作或獲得基本服務,老年人會被孤立,小型企業在網路經濟中的競爭能力也會受到阻礙。

要改善寬頻網路服務, 就先要解決唐人街於使用電子數碼網路服務方面落後於其他地區的不平等問題。其一,高速電纜缺乏可用的選擇。只有 Comcast 康卡斯特提供此服務,但它不是專為唐人街提供服務的。高昂的網路訂閱費用也讓低收入社區成員望而卻步——33%的唐人街居民生活在貧窮線以下。當許多建築物已有 100 多年的歷史時,升級唐人街的網路基礎設施有一定難度。


  1. 我們對舊金山 105 個地址的互聯網速度和定價分析發現,該市最大的互聯網服務提供商之一 AT&T 對高貧困率地址的較慢計劃收取的費用與低貧困率地址的較快計劃收取的費用相同。這意味著高貧困率的社區,付出相同的價格, 但獲得的服務較差較少。
  1. 在唐人街提供的九家寬頻網路供應商中,只有一家提供高速有線互聯網,而光纖網路幾乎不存在,這意味著居民只有幾種高速網路選擇。缺乏選擇導致唐人街居民的物價居高不下。
  1. 近一半的唐人街家庭 (44%) 沒有訂閱網路寬頻,而對於那些訂購了網路寬頻的家庭來說,所用網路速度緩慢且不可靠。

報告稱:“在疫情期間,許多低收入家庭難以支付可靠的高速互聯網費用,特別是有多名學齡兒童有遠距學習需求的家庭”  “一些家庭談到了讓多個孩子同時上網連接的困難、他們的負擔能力, 和上網的速度。”唐人街社區發展中心 (CCDC) 與市政府合作,為兩棟單人房 (SRO) 建築配備了互聯網,但考慮到連接不穩定的以往歷史,房東對於承擔這些新成本猶豫不決。 CCDC 青年領導力發展與賦權計畫總監 Jennifer Chan 表示:“我們還與市政府和多家提供者合作,向 200 多個地區分發 Wi-Fi 熱點,以縮小學生及其家人於使用電子數碼網路服務方面落後於其他地區問題的鴻溝.”

華人權益促進會CAA 政策經理 Anisha Hingorani 認為,「唐人街值得擁有各種價格實惠的寬頻網路服務選擇。寬頻網路服務缺乏選擇和競爭加劇了唐人街居民要承受高昂價格的情况,並抑制了重要基礎設施成長的動機。當這種情況發生時,我們虧欠了像唐人街這樣的有色人種社區: 他們會失去電子數碼經濟和高速互聯網的連接。”

代表唐人街的市参事亞倫·佩斯金(Aaron Peskin) 表示,他的辦公室向舊金山技術部撥款20 萬美元,用於試點一項計劃,「在擁有大量低收入居民的私人SRO 建築大樓中配備免費高速互聯網」。他的辦公室與當地的一個 SRO 租戶倡導團體合作,列舉了有大量老年人和學齡兒童和青少年的大樓,這些人在大流行期間依賴互聯網參與遠距學習或獲得社會服務。在唐人街確定進行此次升級的 12 個可能的 SRO 中,只有 5 棟大樓參與了安裝項目。然而,對於參與的五棟大樓來說,租戶透過與世界其他地方更快、更可靠的連接,體驗了顯著提高的生活品質。佩斯金主管辦公室報告稱,大樓經理的不信任是安裝的主要障礙。

根據皮尤Pew Research Center 研究中心的數據,95% 的美國成年人表示他們使用網路。但網路並不便宜。將資料從一個位置高速傳輸到另一個位置需要大量的基礎設施(電纜、光纖、網路)。 2021年,拜登政府通過了聯邦基礎設施法案,為高速網路提供資金,向加州等州撥款18億美元,以縮小使用電子數碼網路服務方面落後於其他地區問題的落差。美國聯邦通信委員會推出了“負擔得起的網路計劃”,以通過互聯網補貼來幫助低收入家庭,但該計劃除非國會分配額外資金,預計將於今年 4 月耗盡資金