by Ron Daly
As the president of a company providing an array of online services, I'm always a little baffled by statistics such as this one from the Census Bureau.
From Asylum.com -
Almost one in three Americans don't use the Internet at work or home.
New census bureau data, collected from 54,000 households, finds that seniors, the poor, underrepresented minorities and folks who live in rural areas lag behind the rest of the country, technologically speaking.
It stands to reason that folks in rural areas and the elderly aren't getting Internet exposure, but I'm the kind of person that thinks if a person really wants Internet access, it should be available and affordable.
I'm sure there's a percentage of folks in this country who just flat-out don't want the Internet. To each his own - if you don't feel as though you need it, don't bother with it. But Congress and the FCC are stepping in to increase the availability and affordability of online access, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the National Broadband Plan.
From eWeek.com -
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has already said the National Broadband Plan due to Congress in March will call for 100 million households at 100M bps by the end of the decade. A coalition of consumer and advocacy groups like that but call for even bolder goals and milestones.
Among those, easy-to-interpret billing statements, smarter grids and a 90% high-speed adoption rate. The argument of consumer advocacy groups is that more access equals a level playing field for disenfranchised and neglected demographics in America. I can't be certain about the impact of high-speed Internet on people previously deprived of it, but for good or for ill folks who want access should be given it. The "Information Super-Highway" is supposed to connect people, not shut them out of communication. Let's get everyone on the road.
How do you feel about access for everyone? Will a "wired nation" happen by 2020? Tell us your thoughts about it in the comments section.