One Nation Online

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson

wimi1 photo: beel@l / flickr

For an explanation of this image, go to the end of this post.

Here’s an opportunity to say what you think about bringing Internet access to all Americans, regardless of where they live.  Free Press, an organization devoted to freedom of the press and unhampered communication — the hallmarks of  democracy — have turned their attention to helping bring broadband communications to unserved communities.

President Obama and Congress have tasked the FCC with developing this national broadband plan by the end of 2009. We want to be sure Washington is committed to finding people-powered solutions to bridge the digital divide in the United States.

Through our Internet for Everyone coalition, Free Press has already convened a series of public hearings across the country. Now, we want to hear your ideas for making fast, affordable, open Internet available to every American.

Earlier this year Internet for Everyone visited communities across the country to document life for those without a high-speed Internet connection. You can get their view of America’s digital divide by clicking here.

Washington has made the creation of a national Internet plan a focus of our economic recovery. We agree that it’s a priority, but any effort to bring open and affordable Internet to every American can’t be done right without public input.

That’s where you come in:  Take the One Nation Online Survey.

Help shape the future of the internet.  Take five minutes to answer questions about how we can improve high-speed Internet services in our country.

Millions of people are still trapped on the wrong side of the digital divide. They’re being deprived of a better education, good jobs and full participation in our democracy.

Internet for Everyone is working to ensure that the FCC crafts a national broadband plan that makes fast, open and affordable Internet something that all Americans can enjoy. To do that, we need public input.

By taking the survey, you’ll be helping ensure that people outside the Beltway have a say in America’s national broadband plan. The top recommendations from the survey will help determine coalition’s next steps to shape better Internet policy.

About the image: It’s a screen shot showing results of an Internet speed test. Click here and find out how fast your Internet connection is.

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4 Responses to “One Nation Online”

  1. I work fulltime on the Internet. In fact, I own and run a webhosting company out of Panama where we have 6 fibre optic networks coming into our data center. Where I live however, I can only get a very second rate satellite service. I have to drive 15 miles to get what I need for high speed when I need it…. VERY frustrating.
    Now… VERY, VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR YOU ALL. I see everyone is talking about access to high speed broadband… BUT …I cannot find any mention of what that speed should be and it very definitely SHOULD BE  A SURVEY QUESTION. I am in Nova Scotia, Canada and here they are trying to put up 6 wireless towers in our area to give us ONLY about 1 Mps supposedly “high speed”. This is better than dialup but still VERY inadequate. The minimum should be at least 54 Mbps. If this issue is not covered, then you will see a lot of the rural areas in the USA very STUCK for a long time with only 1-2 Mbps. PLUS… the wireless towers are very bad for the health of  those within 3 Kms of the tower. They are now tearing these down in Europe because of the great rise in Cancer and other diseases found in those people near those towers.

  2. One more comment. I phoned the white house and asked about the minimum Internet access speed they plan to have across America and the woman on the other side of the phone did not know, nor could find an answer for me?!

  3. For the record, cable modems and T1 lines (the fastest most non-commercial users are likely to get in the US) run at 1.5 Mbps. I can’t imagine a residential service at 54 Mbps, which is more than 1,000 times faster than what the luckiest dialup users are getting at 52 Kbps. I think most people here will be delighted with the nearly 30-times-dialup speeds that broadband will offer. Most rural places will never see fiber optic cables run past their houses — our houses can be a mile or more apart, and in the east a mile of fiber costs upwards of $10,000. The revenue from one household will never justify that expense. Some day we may see broadband access over electric wires, which will be like heaven, but I’m not holding my breath.

  4. This was cool. Actually this whole site and blog is awesome. I live in a big city but much of what you talk about here makes it seem like there isn’t much but the same problems everywhere. Maybe smog. You country bumpkins probably have less problems with that. But we have less problems with transportation … and that explains the air quality!

    Glad I found you on the backroads of the cyber highway. Quite be accident, I assure you but now that I have found you, don’t be surprised when I pop in now and then!

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