The Broadband Crisis: Who Cares?


At the Progress and Freedom Foundation blog, Adam Thierer notes that a recent Pew Center poll shows a slight majority of Americans don't think supplying broadband should be a big government priority. Thierer on why that might be:

there might be a number of reasons that respondents downplayed the importance of government actions to spur broadband diffusion, including that: (1) many folks are quite content with the Internet service they get today; (2) others might get their online fix at work or other places and not feel the need for it at home; and (3) some may not care two bits (excuse the pun) about broadband at all. More generally, I noted that, with all the other issues out there to consider, broadband policy just isn't that important to most folks in the larger scheme of things….

The Washington Post on the broadband poll, in a story that nonetheless notes:

The findings come as the Obama administration has allocated $7.2 billion in stimulus money for broadband grants, saying fast access to the Internet is essential to encourage innovation and expand the economy. The Federal Communications Commission and some members of Congress have also pushed to overhaul a $8 billion federal subsidy program used to bring phone lines to rural areas so that it will subsidize broadband, as well.

The Pew poll data. James Glassman at Reason on the "digital divide" (ever narrowing) a decade ago.