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U.S. broadband coverage (click to enlarge)  (Source: FCC)
Public sentiment is that its best to leave 80 million Americans unconnected to "high speed" broadband

While it's hard to put an exact number on how many Americans have no internet coverage, there are still some regions of the country in which less than 5 percent of the population has access to the internet.  Depending on how you define "high speed", over 80 million Americans, or about a quarter of the population, have no access to the high speed broadband that the modern web relies on so heavily.

Interestingly, a public poll from the Pew Institute indicates that the majority of Americans aren't very concerned with pushing better coverage for these individuals.  The phone survey (which would only be conducted via landline phones) asked 2,252 adults (aged 18 and older) whether expanding affordable broadband should be a top priority for the government and 53 percent of those polled responded "No".

In total, 26 percent said the government should play no part in pushing out high-speed internet; 27 percent indicated they didn't care if it did, but that it was "not too important"; 30 percent said it was important, and 11 percent said it should be a 
top priority. 

The poll, which can be found here, also offered other interesting results -- for example, growth in internet use among African Americans is outpacing that of white Americans.

Aaron Smith, author of the Pew Internet Project's report, comments, "A debate has arisen about the role of government in stepping in to ensure availability to high-speed Internet access for all Americans.  The majority think not, and the surprise is that non-users are the least inclined to think government has a role in the spread of broadband."

The Federal Communications Commission -- led by appointees of U.S. President Barack Obama -- has made it clear that it thinks that broadband access 
should be a top priority.  It's in the process of deploying a scheme to offer high-speed 100 Mbps internet to 100M U.S. homes and to extend cable coverage to areas that currently cost to much to deploy to (according to the telecommunication companies).

If the recent poll is any indication, the FCC's plan may prove unpopular. 

The debate over internet coverage isn't just a U.S. one, though.  Internationally, the level of coverage, freedom of information, and net neutrality are hotly debated issues.  Finland recently propelled the debate to the forefront when it legislated broadband internet as an essential human right.



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RE: I don't get it...
By hsew on 8/12/2010 2:39:56 PM , Rating: 1
Just leave it to the private sector. Boom.

Because most Americans understand politics? Please.
(Correction: because most Obamabots understand politics? Please.)

They pushed the socialized health care under the guise that it would be a cheaper, better option for all Americans. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but they LIED. Imagine that! A deceitful politician? Who would have thought?

The reason they lied is simple. Not only are you going to have to pay MORE for health insurance, but you are going to have to pay the same rate for it as the fat slob who smokes cigarettes daily by the pack, eats chicken fat off of the FLOOR, and drinks like tomorrow may never come. And if you DON'T want Obamacare? You can escape the plan, but you'll have to pay a fine. Last I checked the fine was over $700 a year (which is about $60 a month, which will afford one a decently fast internet connection, by the way) on top of your health plan. Yay for bigger government! Do you find it rather peculiar that 27 states are filing a lawsuit against the big nice feds JUST BECAUSE OF THIS BILL? I sure do! And surely unemployment will rise (again) due to the fact that less people are buying private sector health insurance, so Insurance Provider 123 will have to start laying off employees.

And Time Magizine? Please. Bad move. That right there pretty much invalidated your argument.


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