More than half of Americans generally disagree with federal government efforts to expand broadband connections around the nation, saying those projects are not important, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Center.
The findings come as the Obama administration has allocated $7.2 billion in stimulus money for broadband grants, saying fast access to the Internet is essential to encourage innovation and expand the economy. The Federal Communications Commission and some members of Congress have also pushed to overhaul a $8 billion federal subsidy program used to bring phone lines to rural areas so that it will subsidize broadband, as well.
"As broadband technologies have been adopted in the majority of American homes, a debate has arisen about the role of government in stepping in to ensure availability to high-speed Internet to access for all Americans," said Aaron Smith, a senior research specialist at the Pew Centers' Internet & American Life Project and author of the report. "The majority think not, and the surprise is that non-users are the least inclined to think government has a role." Read More