Business, Economics and Jobs

Rural internet access is still lagging, FCC says


The internet is beginning to stand up for itself.


Paul J. Richards

For Americans living in big cities, it seems like it would be impossible to function in society without the internet. But the truth is that many parts of the United States are still underserved by broadbad. In fact, about 19 million Americans lack access to fast internet, according to a new report by the FCC.

Chris Hoover, the vice president of the Openet organization, expressed shock at the figures. "Responsibility falls on many people who have a stake in the industry," he told TechNewsWorld

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Most of the Americans living without internet live in rural or tribal areas. In addition, many of those without internet live in states that are already struggling economically, putting them further at a disadvantage. "Your chance of getting a job is lower if you don't have broadband. Job postings have moved online," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told USA Today

However, the figures are an improvement from last year, The Hill reported. In addition, the FCC has recently made internet access a top priority. The FCC last year even converted a $4.5 billion fund for rural telephone service into a subsidy for expanding broadband access. But the subsidy had only begun recently, so it's too early to see the affects of it yet, according to The Hill