Many Americans don't want government to push fast Internet

The majority of Americans do not favour making affordable high-speed Internet access a government priority, according to a study released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on Wednesday.

In a national phone survey of 2,252 adults, Pew researchers asked if expanding affordable broadband access to everyone in the country should be a top priority for the federal government.



Whether it is due to anti-government sentiment, a shifting of priorities in a tough economic environment or the uncertain benefits of the Internet, 53 percent of those surveyed said that expansion should not be attempted by the government or it was not an important priority.



"A debate has arisen about the role of government in stepping in to ensure availability to high-speed Internet access for all Americans," said Aaron Smith, author of the Pew Internet Project's report.



"The majority think not, and the surprise is that non-users are the least inclined to think government has a role in the spread of broadband."



Expanding affordable high-speed Internet access to all Americans is the main mission of the Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan.



The FCC said in February that 80 million Americans have not subscribed to Internet access either because it is not available to them, it costs too much or they don't understand the relevance of broadband.



Some rural parts of the United States lack Internet service due to the cost of deployment of lines.



The FCC blueprint makes several short- to long-term recommendations to boost broadband adoption rates in urban areas and increase access for low-income and rural families.



"We're more committed than ever to educating Americans about the ways that broadband can improve their lives," said FCC spokeswoman Jen Howard, adding that the Internet can benefit businesses, education, health care and governance.



The Pew survey, which was conducted between April 29 and May 30, found that:

  • 26 percent say that expansion of affordable broadband access should not be attempted by government
  • 27 percent said it was "not too important" a priority
  • 30 percent said it was an important priority
  • 11 percent said it should be a top priority

The survey also found that adoption rates in the United States have dramatically slowed as 66 per cent of Americans have a subscription compared with 63 per cent in 2009.

While adoption rates among whites increased by two basis points from last year, the percent of African-Americans accessing broadband increased to 56 per cent from 46 per cent in 2009, effectively narrowing the gap with whites, according to the survey.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?