The broadband gap continues to plague much of the country, leaving vast stretches of America with limited or no Internet connection. And these Internet oases are becoming more than just a frustration for consumers: They are beginning to seriously affect academic and professional lives. Internet access was recently determined to be a human right, and the fact that a third of U.S. citizens go without high-speed connections is somewhat shocking.
The Federal Communications Commision has made attempts to alleviate the situation, much of which has entailed researching and thoroughly assessing where these Internet deserts are and financing the restructuring. Now, we’re doing more than throwing money at the issue, and a new movement called Connect 2 Compete will provide $150 laptops to eligible families, along with two years of $10 per month Internet service. The deal is made possible by the FCC’s partnership with major cable and PC manufacturing companies.
In order to qualify, recipients will have to be free-and-reduced-lunch-eligible, which generally translates to low income households with children. The program will begin in the spring of 2012 and won’t increase taxpayer dollars.