A new lobbying group called Internet for Everyone launched this week to push for government-supported, inexpensive Internet access “for all Americans.”
In 2001, the US was fourth in broadband penetration compared with other countries, but today it ranks 15. That means businesses face a competitive disadvantage compared with Europe and Asia, where broadband penetration has grown faster, the group says. Plus, only 40% of racial and ethnic households have Internet access, compared with 55% of white households, exacerbating social and economic “divides.”
Backers include Google, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Skype, Public Citizen, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and eBay. The group hopes that a coalition of public interest groups and Internet businesses stands a better chance of overcoming opposition by telephone and cable companies to policies enabling universal access to the Internet, Wired reported.
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