Affordability is curbing access to the Internet and possibly stunting the competitive edge in American industry.---
A study released by the Federal Communication Commission Tuesday reports 93 million Americans, or about one-third of the country, do not have home access to high speed Internet. Of those without broadband, 28 million said they lacked Internet because of the monthly cost, equipment needs or because they are weary of long-term service contracts required by providers.
The telephone survey, completed by the FCC between October and November in 2009, found that broadband users reported paying $40.68 per month for Internet connections. Those using dial-up paid about $22.
Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the FCC said in a prepared statement that a solution must be devised, or those who are unconnected will continue to be denied opportunities to fully participate in an increasingly digital economy. By providing access to the Web, Genachowski suggests it could buoy up American competitiveness abroad and create future jobs within the United States.
Currently the Internet exists as a pay to play, scenario and likely will. However in March the FCC is expected to deliver a National Broadband Plan to Congress that details strategies for connecting the country to affordable access. According to a press release from the FCC, this plan will be a strategy for U.S. global leadership in high-speed Internet.
Read the complete study here.