America's Digital Divide Is Wider Than We Think, Microsoft Study Says
Posted in: Digital Divide at 05/12/2018 21:33
New research from Microsoft says that far fewer people have broadband internet access than government statistics have shown.
Ferry County in northeastern Washington spans more than 2,200 square miles of mostly forestland, rivers and lakes. And according to the Federal Communications Commission, everyone in the sprawling county has access to broadband internet.
But that is not the reality experienced by the roughly 7,500 residents of this county, which is rich in natural beauty but internet-poor.
The county seat, Republic, has basic broadband service, supplied by a community cable TV company owned by residents. But go beyond the cluster of blocks in the small town, and the high-speed service drops off quickly. People routinely drive into town to use Wi-Fi in the public library and other spots for software updates, online shopping or schoolwork, said Elbert Koontz, Republic’s mayor.