Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rural counties still struggling to gain access to broadband.

NPR ran an interesting story on the topic of rural access to broadband this morning. Rural Americans are still struggling to gain access, and aren't getting much help from the government. In Trinity County, a rural county in Northern California, residents are wondering if their county will survive without it. With tourism and timber industries nearly dried up in Trinity County, the future may hinge on whether high-speed internet becomes available. Trinity County kids trying to do homework online using dial-up are dealing with staggeringly slow connections. According to one 13 year old, "It takes about an hour to load every page." According to the story, AT&T runs fiber through Trinity County to connect to larger cities, but has declined to extend the use of this fiber to Trinity County residents.

This topic has already been covered pretty extensively, but with the United States still lagging behind other industrialized nations in terms of access to broadband, I'm glad that at least the news media hasn't forgotten that this is still an important issue. Full text and audio for the story is available here.

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