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The 'New Digital Divide' in US high-speed internet access

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The gap in access to high-speed internet is creating further divisions in access to society, argues Susan P. Crawford in a New York Times opinion piece. Millions of Americans can only use the internet over dial-up or mobile connections, limiting their access to services that are fast becoming standard among the well-off.

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In an op-ed piece over at the New York Times, Susan P. Crawford, a former special assistant to President Obama on science, technology and innovation policy, argues that the USA is becoming a country where only the well-off suburban and urban population can fully reap the benefits of the internet. While over 200 million Americans have high-speed internet access, millions more are forced to use dial-up or mobile wireless connections. This cuts off access to a host of modern services such as videoconferencing, soon to become standard in areas from healthcare to education, and mobile devices are hardly ideal for many computing tasks; just imagine trying to upload a resume or write a report on your phone. The result is a "new digital divide" between the haves and the have-nots, with future implications for America's economy and quality of life.