Nearly 25 years after the birth of the world wide web, most Americans have computers and internet access, but the nation remains a patchwork of connectivity, with some metro areas full of high-speed connections and other areas much less plugged in.

Overall, 84% of U.S. households own a computer, and 73% have a computer with a broadband connection to the internet. 

Among the regions where the highest share of households have broadband connections are relatively small but college-heavy metro areas such as:

  • Boulder (85%)
  • Lawrence, Kan. (83%)
  • State College, Pa. (81%)

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Obama Support for Municipal Broadband is Huge Step Forward for Open Internet

Washington D.C. (January 14, 2014) – President Obama today travels to Iowa to announce his support for municipal broadband Internet. Obama will urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to strike down state laws that currently ban local and city governments from investing in broadband deployment. The President will make the announcement in Cedar Falls, a city of 40,000, where – thanks to municipal investment in broadband — businesses and residents benefit from Internet speeds that are among the fastest in the country.

Demand Progress welcomes the President’s announcement and vows to support his proposal.

“When it comes to Internet access many people do not have competitive choices. In most cities, there are only one or maybe two companies that offer broadband services. In many rural communities, there is simply no option, and as of 2013 30% of American adults had no high-speed Internet access at home. When corporations refuse to invest in the Internet, people deserve a public option.” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. “If communities are able to invest in their infrastructure there’s fast service, lower prices, and everyone wins.”

Many communities recognize the inherent benefit of high speed access – both to people and to businesses – and would like to invest in building the infrastructure necessary. Yet in 19 states, major corporations like Comcast and Verizon have successfully lobbied state governments to make local broadband development illegal.

“Internet Service Providers lie by claiming that Net Neutrality would slow broadband investment, but cities like Cedar Falls show the truth. The biggest impediment to broadband buildout is the ISPs themselves: They use their massive political power to simply ban cities and local communities from extending fast access at low prices.” added Segal.

"The President’s proposal is good for American communities and their economic vitality. Outside the board of directors at the big ISPs, and the politicians they’ve convinced to do their bidding, no one votes against Internet access."


The number of mobile internet users globally is set to reach 3.8 billion by 2020, up from 2.2 billion total users in 2013.

Sub-Saharan Africa is set to lead the boom, having been the world’s fastest-growing mobile region for the last five years. 49% of the population in this region will be accessing the internet via mobile by 2020, overtaking Europe to become the world’s second-largest mobile market after Asia Pacific.

As 3G and 4G connections gain availability in developing regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of 2G mobile internet subscribers is set to shrink from 900 million to 800 million, while the number of mobile broadband users doubles.

Communications technology provider Ericsson expects mobile data traffic in Sub-Saharan Africa to grow 20-fold between 2013 and 2019, twice the expected global growth rate over the same period (from 37,500 terabytes a month in 2013 to 764,000 terabytes a month by 2019).

The six largest markets of the total 46 countries together account for over half the region’s unique mobile subscriber base. In order of size, these are: Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.

The GSMA’s ‘Digital Inclusion’ report states the following four challenges as being critical for mobile operators, governments and NGOs to deal with this mobile internet boom:

Extension of network coverage into remote areas,
lowering the cost of mobile ownership by not imposing heavy fees,
improving illiteracy and a lack of internet awareness, and
ensuring availability on a variety of devices in many languages.

Demand Progress Welcomes Sprint to #TeamInternet

Washington D.C. (January 16, 2015) – Sprint Corporation today told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the company supports Net Neutrality regardless of the legal authority the FCC uses to enforce it. The company, the third largest wireless carrier network in the United States, is the latest in a long line of users, activists, start ups, investors and companies to express support for reclassifying broadband Internet accesses under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

“For years, Internet Service Providers have been claiming that Net Neutrality would be harmful. They can’t sell the truth – that ending Net Neutrality would be extremely profitable for the largest companies at the expense of everyone else. They’ve hid behind false claims about ‘innovation’ and network investment, but this announcement finally acknowledges the truth. Net Neutrality will not harm broadband deployment. The argument is over,” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. “If anyone continues this zombie argument, their credibility should be questioned.”

In a letter to FCC commissioners and Chairman Wheeler, Sprint wrote that the company does not believe “light touch application of Title II, including appropriate forebearance, would harm continued investment in, and deployment of, mobile broadband Internet.”

“Sprint has done the people a service by simply telling the truth about how wireless broadband works. Net Neutrality used to be an unknown policy debate. Yet, Internet uses – i.e. potential customers – care strongly about this issue and are willing to vote with their feet. Verizon and Comcast should pay attention,” added Segal.

After working on the issue for nearly a year, FCC is poised to vote on rules reclassifying broadband access under Title II. Next week, however, the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce committees are scheduled to hold hearings. 

“Sprint’s support for Title II Net Neutrality rules from the FCC should end the charade in Congress that is clearly aimed at satisfying big cable monopolies. The FCC has done great work and Congress should not try to step in to undermine the will of millions of Americans and hundreds of web platforms, small ISPs, and now Sprint,” said Segal.

anonymous asked:

So the other day you posted the Honest Trailer for "Love Actually" (ironically the same day as i'd shown it to my dad, who is also a big fan of that movie) and i had a bit of a fangirl moment where i thought "OMG one of my favourite authors watches the same videos as me" (sorry this isn't technically a question D:)

:) I get around.

Seriously: I spend a lot of time online, in a lot of the usual places and a lot of unusual ones. It may be a good thing that our broadband is so terrible, otherwise who knows when I’d get anything done….

How will massive advances in high-speed connectivity transform the economy, health, education, the government and everyday life? And what are the potential pitfalls and opportunities for the killer apps of the future?

The Pew Research Center and the Internet Innovation Alliance are hosting an event on Thursday morning (10 a.m. – noon) to showcase new findings from a canvassing of experts about the coming “gigabit age” and the “killer apps” that are likely to emerge. Come! Be sure to RSVP here.

Republicans Poised To Fight Net Neutrality

The new Republican congress may try to punch holes in net neutrality but, hopefully, Democrats and the president will stand up to them.

Protesters across the street from the Comcast Center in Philadelphia in September. They  expressed opposition to the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable and supported net neutrality.  Credit AP

Newly fortified Republicans in Congress are considering a number of ways to stymie the Obama administration’s planned regulations on broadband Internet providers in 2015, making Capitol Hill a new front in the fight over “net neutrality.”…

Many conservatives and the broadband industry say utility-like regulation is a step too far, arguing it will stifle innovation in the industry. That view is held by some pivotal players in the new Congress, such as John Thune (R., S.D.), the incoming chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

“There are many paths that opponents of strong net neutrality rules can follow in the Congress,” said Gene Kimmelman, president of the group Public Knowledge, which supports strong net neutrality rules, in an interview. “However if the White House remains firmly in favor of strong net neutrality rules, all legislation is likely to fail.”

As a result, the most likely venue for taking on the agency will be the hearing room, where GOP-led committees can be expected to grill FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on the policy while making it clear that they oppose expanded regulation of broadband providers. A date hasn’t yet been set for a net-neutrality hearing.


A Super Simple Way To Understand the Net Neutrality Debate