Broadening Broadband: Most Experts Agree That Broadband Would Benefit Everyone, but a Digital Divide Still Exists

By Greenberg, Pam | State Legislatures, September 2012 | Go to article overview

Broadening Broadband: Most Experts Agree That Broadband Would Benefit Everyone, but a Digital Divide Still Exists


Greenberg, Pam, State Legislatures


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Back at the turn of the century, you could finish off a large, non-fat, decal, caramel latte with no foam in the time it took your computer to load a website. Now it happens before your second sip, virtually instantaneously, via a high-speed broadband connection.

Almost two-thirds of Americans now use broad band to connect to the Internet, up from just 3 percent in 2000, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. And even though broadband is becoming more available, not everyone is taking advantage of its potential benefits. After a decade of strong growth, the public's adoption of broadband started to slow in 2009, just as $293 million in grants for new broadband projects from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act were being directed to states.

Who's Using Broadband?

Two recent surveys, one by the Pew project in 2012 and another by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in late 2010, confirm that gaps in broadband use among demographic groups remain. People who are poor, disabled, elderly, less-educated, single, unemployed, from a minority group or who live in rural areas lag behind in having Internet access at home and broadband specifically.

And despite the growing importance of the Internet to everyday life, more than one-quarter of Americans choose not to use the Internet at all. They cite lack of a computer, no need or interest, the irrelevancy of the Internet to their lives, high cost and difficulty of use for not subscribing to broadband.

The Benefits of Broadband

But citizens are at a huge disadvantage without the ability to connect, and some policymakers are working to change that. Students with broadband at home have a 6 percent to 8 percent higher graduation rate compared to similar students without broadband, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Broadband access and home computer use also correlate positively to higher academic achievement and better test scores.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In addition, a growing number of jobs require computer skills--50 percent today, and an expected 77 percent in the next decade. Indeed, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies currently require job applicants to apply online, according to the FCC.

"One thing we know is that Internet access can take people beyond their borders," Delegate Meshea Poore (D) of West Virginia says. "Kids sometimes have never gone outside their immediate community and don't know what other options they have, or can't see what's possible for them." She also believes it's important to have community services in place so that when broadband service becomes available, training and computers are available, too.

"Broadband is important to make sure all citizens are able to participate in distance learning, teleworking, telemedicine and other activities that will modernize the way people are educated, work and receive health care," says Delegate Joe T. May (R), a member of Virginia's Broadband Advisory Council and the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS). "Broadband guarantees that all citizens will have the chance to participate in the global economy."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Broadband is becoming increasingly important in the health care arena as well. A New York Law School report, "Broadband Adoption: Why It Matters and How It Works," documents general economic effects of broadband as well as the benefits in delivering health care. "Broad band-enabled telemedicine and health information technology services ... extend the range of enhanced medical services to rural parts of the country, streamline the administration of health care, enable a wide array of cost savings, and empower individuals to have more control over medical decisions," the report says.

[GRAPHIC OMITTED]

Federal Support for Broadband

Federal funds helped create task forces to devise the means to increase access to broadband. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Broadening Broadband: Most Experts Agree That Broadband Would Benefit Everyone, but a Digital Divide Still Exists
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.