Rural America “Stranded in the Dial-Up Age,” Rural Broadband Issues –

News summary by Kieth Good, & Social Media Manager for the farmdoc project at the University of Illinois.
“Last month, a Wall Street Journal article provided an in-depth look at a variety of statistical indicators from rural America in an article titled, “Rural America is the New, ‘Inner City.’”  That article explained that, “In terms of poverty, college attainment, teenage births, divorce, death rates from heart disease and cancer, reliance on federal disability insurance and male labor-force participation, rural counties now rank the worst among the four major U.S. population groupings (the others are big cities, suburbs and medium or small metro areas).”
The Journal continued its “One Nation, Divisible” series with a front page article in Friday’s paper that focused on a different aspect of rural development: Broadband Internet access.”
“Friday’s article noted that, “In many rural communities, where available broadband speed and capacity barely surpass old-fashioned dial-up connections, residents sacrifice not only their online pastimes but also chances at a better living. In a generation, the travails of small-town America have overtaken the ills of the city, and this technology disconnect is both a cause and a symptom.”
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