Thursday, June 26, 2008

Internet for Everyone

I spent the beginning of this week at The Personal Democracy Forum’s 2008 Conference. During the conference, Free Press (an Overbrook grantee) held a news briefing announcing the launch of a new campaign called Internet for Everyone.

Two statistics mentioned truly shocked me: In America only 35% percent of homes with less than $50,000 in annual income have a high-speed Internet connection and nearly 20 million Americans live in areas that are not served by a single broadband provider. If we ever needed specific evidence of a digital divide, when it comes to the internet, this is it.

In this day and age, access to the Internet is no longer a luxury but is instead a necessity. The Internet is becoming, if it is not already, the primary method of communication and if every community doesn’t have a fast, open and affordable Internet, they will inevitably be left behind.

The Internet for Everyone Campaign will focus on four key principles:

Access: Every home and business in America must have access to a high-speed, world class communications infrastructure.

Choice: Every consumer must enjoy real competition in lawful online content as well as among high-speed Internet providers to achieve lower prices and higher speeds.

Openess: Every Internet user should have the right to freedom of speech and commerce online in an open market without gatekeepers or discrimination.

Innovation: The Internet should continue to create good jobs, foster entrepreneurship, spread new ideas and serve as a leading engine of economic growth.

Free Press also announced that it’s working with federal and city officials to hold a series of local broadband hearings to gather public input to guide a national broadband plan. If you want to find out how to participate in those hearings you can click
here. You can also view the full-length press conference here.


  1. I often take the internet for granted and don't really recognize how much I've come to depend on it. The statistic you mentioned is appalling and illustrates the unjust disparities that make it difficult for a large group of people to move up the socioeconomic ladder.

    When blogging, I know we hope to reach anyone interested in our topics and it is a sad thought to think that our audience is limited by a lack of internet access.

    It sounds like the conference was really interesting, and I look forward to hearing more updates on the Internet for Everyone Campaign!