Address the US Digital Divide in the Cost of Wireless

Posted in: Digital Divide at 12/04/2011 14:05

Too often, broadband policy is talked about in terms of "access" to providers, as if making a broadband option available is enough. But in a speech at the Free Press conference, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn made it clear the issue has to include cost as well:

In considering all of the factors relating to America's minority and lower-income citizens, and realizing how hard people work to claw past their monthly bills only to immediately start fretting about next month, we must be vigilant - super-vigilant - about the direction the wireless industry is heading.

Many people hope that wireless phones can become an access point for many low-income folks to the Internet, but cost is one of the biggest obstacles to that goal. The Pew Internet & American Life Project has highlighted in a past report that even if high-speed Internet service was available to the entire nation, about one-third of Americans not currently using broadband still wouldn't because of the expense.

To read this opinion piece in The Huffington Post in full, see:

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