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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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By RealTheXev on 8/13/2010 4:52:49 PM , Rating: 1
I am part of the minority of this poll. I live in a place called Corry PA. If you don’t know where that is, look it up on Google maps. Holy crap, there are areas that rural on the east coast? Yeah. I don’t live in the town either; I live in the out skirts between Corry and Spartansburg PA. You can get REAL cable internet and Verizon’s subpar DSL in town Corry. In Spartansburg you can still choose to pay $50 a month for cheap, crappy 12 channel analog cable. Wait, didn’t they also have a date for the end of analog cable? Apparently, but I doubt the FCC is going to fly out here to drop the hammer on Time Warner any time soon.

Spartansburg finally got DSL last year, even though there had been demand on the outskirts that still can’t get DSL. Cable internet... well, as we covered above they can’t even get digital cable.

So here I am, stuck in between. “Why don’t you just move?” Well, I am a responsible human being that hasn’t shacked up with some women and popped out 2 babies to get Welfare cash assistance to have the money to move the hell out of here to find a job. Jobs are dead around here. Several people have suggested that I started up a IT consulting firm. Well, explain to me how in the hell I can do that on dialup?

“Why don’t you try to get a job at Geek Squad? You seem qualified for that.” Yeah, and I am, but companies like Best Buy practice something called “Credit discrimination.” It occurs when, a credit check is run for a job that has nothing to do with your credit! Should bank tellers need a credit check? Most likely, but should an IT guy need a credit check TO WORK? HELL NO!

So, what do I do? Go get killed in the US military where I will be serving someone else’s interest instead of my country? Why not join the National Guard if you want to serve your country? Oh wait, they are overseas too getting killed for the War on Oil.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, a buddy of mine with worse credit then mine is working as a bank teller. Yeah, I am praying I can find a way to move out of here. I applied for a retail job at a gas station… guess what, credit check required! I’ve got 4 years of retail experience, and there is nothing the people in the store can do about it, just like Best Buy. I should add to the 500+ tax payers that aren’t paying the school this year (and by not paying, I mean they moved too), but alas, I can’t move anywhere with no money to move on.

Oh, did I mention my parents have a bad reputation in this area, and my name isn’t a good one? Try living and getting a job with a sigma like that.

I hope all you people are enjoying your internet. I could actually make a dime with some.




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