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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 eskimospy on 8/12/2010 8:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
What the hell are you talking about? Why on earth would a legal consensus in the US require a finding by a congressional committee or the justice department? It might explain a lot that you search for partisan political bodies such as the committees for your legal advice. You can keep shrieking THERE IS NO MAJORITY all you want, but it won't change reality. Spend just a few minutes researching it on the internet, that's all it will take to educate yourself.

Seriously.

As to how the constitution works, you are simply wrong. There's really no other way to put it. The Constitution never mentions an air force; it explicitly mentions an army and a navy, but nothing else. You may THINK it means a military, but that's not what it says. So either we go strictly by the terms of it as you claim we should, or we don't. The constitution does not say that congress CAN make an air force, so how did we do it? I sure hope you aren't going to make the argument that the founders meant for congress to make whatever military was appropriate for the time, like one of those 'breathing constitution' commie 'libruls'. I am showing you this example to demonstrate to you the absurdity of your argument that if the constitution doesn't specifically authorize it, that it's not among the powers granted. Hopefully you understand how the constitution works better now.

Finally, I never said anything about the constitution needing to spell out what the fed can't do. It most certainly does spell out what it can, and that's my whole point. The courts determine what is permissible under the commerce clause, the power to tax, etc. I'm just telling you now that they are most likely going to disagree with you. Time to start facing up to the real world. Your pathetic attempt to strawman me by saying it can be tossed aside when convenient just shows how desperate you are.

This is my last post, because you aren't interested in actually debating the issue. You keep shrieking about the constitution and history and each time I shoot down a new falsehood you drop it, pretend it never happened, and then go make up another one. You're convinced that you're right, facts be damned. I can genuinely say that I've never had someone attempt to lecture me on the constitution who has gotten as many basic facts wrong as you have. Do you have ANY shame whatsoever? I already know that even when the courts rule against you, you won't think 'I guess I was wrong', you'll blame the judiciary for being part of the vast 'librul' conspiracy too. You are proudly ignorant and irrational, and you don't deserve any more of my time.


RE: I don't get it...
By knutjb on 8/13/2010 1:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have over-reached on the belief there is some sort of consensus, one way or the other. I have heard lawyers, both liberal and conservative, express for and against in about equal numbers.

The primary concern with the healthcare debacle and many other new programs is: are the legislative and executive branches exceeding their authority in regards to the commerce clause? That is no slam dunk.

I think they have exceeded their authority but that is merely an opinion until the Supreme Court says otherwise.
quote:
The Constitution never mentions an air force; it explicitly mentions an army and a navy, but nothing else. You may THINK it means a military, but that's not what it says.
quote:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A2Sec2
Care to rethink that comment? They had no idea that man could fly but they left room for areas they knew they could not know of and room to deal with such.

The left loves the "general Welfare" part but conveniently miss/ignore the preceding statement. I think the current regime is placing their own selfish political greed over their well stated obligation to our "common Defence."

Try reading the Federalist Papers to gain the context of what they were after, #10 is my favorite.


RE: I don't get it...
By eskimospy on 8/13/2010 4:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
Nice, now you're arguing against yourself. Obama's health care plan most certainly provides for the 'general welfare'. If you're going to accept the preceding clause, you have to accept the following one. I in no way wish to rethink it, because my point was exactly the one you're making. The founders left the constitution room to grow.

You're terrible at this, but thanks for helping my argument out anyway.


RE: I don't get it...
By knutjb on 8/14/2010 3:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
You are thicker than you think, I previously said that the government was over-stepping their role and in no way supports your assertion.

What I did imply is that the left is very selective on what they use, general Welfare, and your argument ignored the common defence part that allows for adding the Air Force, which was originally part of the Army, to the Army and Navy as equals. Over-stepping of common defence would be the Feds taking over local and state police functions. Like the Feds dictating healthcare is over-ridding states responsibilities.

We are United States made up of independent States not Federal States of submissive, dependent States.
quote:
Nice, now you're arguing against yourself. Obama's health care plan most certainly provides for the 'general welfare'.
Except that they are using the "Commerce" clause not the "general Welfare" clause as their reasoning. When they passed the bill they said it wasn't a "Tax" but now are using "Tax" to defend it in court under the "Commerce" clause.

Again, maybe you need to rethink your position...


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