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National Broadband Map Shows Digital Divide 182

Posted by timothy
from the this-took-a-fifth-of-a-billion-dollars-to-determine? dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "PC Magazine reports that the Commerce Department has unveiled a national broadband inventory map, which will allow the public to see where high-speed Internet is available throughout the country. Users can search by address, view data on a map, or use other interactive tools to compare broadband across various geographies, such as states, counties or congressional districts. Commerce officials say the information can help businesses decide if they want to move to a certain location, based on broadband availability. The map, costing about $200 million and financed through the 2009 Recovery Act, shows that 5-10 percent of Americans lack broadband access at speeds that support a basic set of applications. Another 36 percent lack access to wireless service. Community anchor institutions like schools and libraries are also 'largely underserved,' the data finds, and two-thirds of surveyed schools subscribe to speeds lower than 25 Mbps and only 4 percent of libraries subscribe to speeds greater than 25 Mbps. 'The National Broadband Map shows there are still too many people and community institutions lacking the level of broadband service needed to fully participate in the Internet economy,' says Larry Strickling, assistant secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). 'We are pleased to see the increase in broadband adoption last year, particularly in light of the difficult economic environment, but a digital divide remains.'"
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National Broadband Map Shows Digital Divide

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  • Re:$200 million? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2011 @04:14PM (#35237026)

    At least you're not claiming it's unconstitutional like some persons might.

    Sure, the Founders didn't provide for it, but is there a serious argument that having a survey of the conditions in the country is not a valid function of government? Aside from the people who disbelieve in government entirely, I don't feel there is, as in my experience most of the anti-Census type rhetoric is based on principles of limitation and hamstringing the government out of spite, not because it's genuinely not a good idea to know these things, or because it's somehow a gross intrusion on the citizenry.

    Feel free to make a bid on the next update for it though.

  • Re:$200 million? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2011 @07:54PM (#35239556)

    (1) None of their damn business what color I am, what sex, how much I earn, how old, et cetera. (2) The Member States gave the central union government the authority to enumerate (count me) and nothing more. They were never given the authority to invade my privacy (see point one and amends.9 and 10).

    As I expected, the typical wall of refusal that admits no possibility for the other side to have reasons, just says "none of your damn business, don't intrude on my privacy". I can respect that you might think the government doesn't need to know any of that stuff, but with the institutionalized history of racism, sexism, and other discrimination, I'm afraid that's actually shown it's worth knowing. Why? Because true blindness is not possible to enforce, no matter how much any of us might wish it. Yes, you could argue that being able to learn that has caused a lot of problems, but it's not like you can close people's eyes, sometimes even their eyes can change the results. I found it amusing that I just saw an episode of Cold Case where a black man started passing for white after his officer thought he'd made a mistake on the form. But without the form, would it have mattered? No. So how do we know if we're discriminating? By not closing our eyes and pretending it helps. It doesn't.

    Knowing your income is also beneficial to knowing the economic state of the country as well as complying with the laws passed after the 16th Amendment. Yeah, the 16th Amendment says they can do it without regard to any such census or enumeration, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have some foundation on what to base it. It makes sense to me. That said, they didn't actually ask that on this year's Census, at least not my copy. All they asked was about home ownership. Which is still a valid question to know, what with what it says about the economy.

    And really, your age? If they don't know your age, how can they know if you're old enough to vote or not? Voting age is at least something that SHOULD be known. That you're upset over it just makes me wonder. Besides knowing ages helps plan for the future, knowing how many people might say start driving, or might need schooling. You may argue that this information would be more useful to the local gov't, and I would concur, however I feel it'd be better asked in the Census rather than duplicating the work.

    What other side? The only thing that's involved are the State Legislatures to assent to the amendment, which they've done 27 times already.

    I wouldn't represent it that way. The first 10 were included as part of the Constitution, as such I would count this as a single bundle, not 27 different ones. I would make a similar argument for the Civil War amendments. That and you're leaving out the role of Congress in the Amendment process.

    But yes, it has been done. Yet if it were tried today, I would expect to get people who would not make arguments based on logic or reason, but on the idea that somehow what was said in the original Constitution was perfect, could not be changed, and had to be followed till the end of time.

    This is not an R versus D thing.

    Well, perhaps, but that's not the only division in this country. I don't even consider the RvD to be the definitive division. The division I'm talking about is a collection of people who seem to believe we're still living in the late 1700s, that we need to live by some sacred standard set in stone by the Founding Fathers, and who coincidentally enough, interpret what the Constitution says to be what they want to believe it says. EVERY TIME.

    See the debate about the 14th Amendment for one clear example. There's also the whole business of nullification. Totally made up, with no explicit provision for it, but they keep pushing it as if it really did exist in that black ink.

    I much prefer people who stick to real reasons, who appeal to the logic and reasons of today, instead

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