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Close the Digital Divide and Preserve an Open Internet
The United States has been unsuccessful in creating an open internet, without which people can’t access the sites they want, when they want. Because of inadequate government regulation, much of our country’s population has yet to benefit from the telecommunications revolution currently underway. The result is a widening digital divide. An affordable and open internet – where anyone has high speed internet access and can view the websites of their choice – has yet to come true.
In spite of rapid technology growth, high speed internet access is not expanding at the rate it should. The US has fallen to 16th place internationally in the number of subscribers to high speed internet – far behind our global competitors.
This statistic may come as a surprise. Given our country’s technological and economic abilities, high speed internet access shouldn’t just be wishful thinking. Yet, in spite of advancements in technology, the digital divide has only gotten bigger. As a country, we spend relatively less as a nation on telecommunications investment while spending relatively more as consumers for slower speeds. To make matters even worse, there is a substantial digital divide that separates access to high speed internet based on income and geography. An accessible, open internet should be available to everyone – including businesses and families in rural areas.