"Speed Matters: The Benefits of Broadband" is a project of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) as part of our commitment to promote affordable, high-speed Internet for all Americans. High-speed Internet is essential for economic growth, job creation and global competitiveness.
We need high-speed Internet for our homes, schools, hospitals and workplaces. Speed defines what is possible on the Internet. It determines whether we will have the 21st century networks we need to create the jobs of the future, develop a sustainable economy and support innovation.
The United States ranks 15th among industrialized nations in high-speed Internet penetration. In addition, countries like Canada, France and South Korea have better, faster Internet connections. People in Japan can download an entire movie in two minutes, but it can take two hours or more in the U.S. Yet, people in Japan pay the same as we do for their Internet connection.
The United States also faces a significant digital divide. There is a significant difference in access between rural subscribers and their urban counterparts, and between low and high-income Americans. Only 50 percent of adults in rural areas subscribe to broadband compared to 68 percent in urban areas, and 93 percent of households earning over $75,000 per year subscribe to broadband as opposed to 40 percent of Americans earning under $20,000 per year.
We must close these broadband gaps to ensure that all of our children will have access to unlimited information available on the Internet.
Affordable low speed access is not enough. People must have the ability to use a a mulltitude of computing devices to navigate the Internet with ease to benefit fully from the high-speed Internet--a skill often referred to as digital literacy.
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