“Push to Expand Internet Access Leaves Behind the Urban Poor”

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Washington Post, 2/28/09 – A lot of the broadband access debate is about bringing additional providers to communities that depend on just one (often complacent) provider. Some of the debate is about communities where there is no provider whatsoever (neither from the cable company nor from the phone company). There are over fifty towns in Western Mass where most residents have no options.  And then there are places like Washington DC and Springfield where there is at least one option, but it is unaffordable. Comcast, for example, charges about $45/month. The digital divide is a serious issue for Springfield. One opportunity may be to “light” the abundance of “dark fiber” that runs under the city, perhaps tying into the newly christened Five College Loop, and providing a nonprofit alternative to the incumbents. $7.2 billion for broadband in Obama’s stimulus plan might help too.

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