Digital Nation, a report published by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, showed that broadband access has been increasing significantly (an increase of 5% of the population in one year), a third of Americans still lack access to broadband Internet connections. Access to broadband has actually come a long way since the start of the century, when only 4.4% of households had it, as opposed to the current 68.2%. Not surprisingly, people with low incomes, less education, and certain minorities are among the groups with the highest percentages of people without broadband Internet access. President Obama believes that the United States should be a country in the 21st Century- he calls for an extension of broadband access to 98% of the American population. In 2009’s stimulus package, there was $7 billion of funding allocated to this project. Now the President is calling for an additional $5 billion to expand access to rural areas. It is not right for people to be left out of this new century, which is clearly based around the Internet. Improving this key infrastructure will, according to Professor Leonard Waverman, “increase national productivity and growth by up to 15%”. The Economic Development Administration also asserts the view that broadband access stimulates economic growth. With unemployment at around 9% and our economy still weak from a recession, we could really use some of that economic growth. Every person who gets access to the Internet is another person who will be able to compete in the job market of the future today, and will play an important role in boosting the US economy and productivity. This is why Obama’s infrastructure development proposals, especially those relating to technology, are a must if this country is to survive. This is also why Republicans must not be allowed to interfere with this- every job that these improvements can provide is a life that is changed, a country that is strengthened, and a world that is improved.
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