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Digital divide is wider than we think

Source: Steve Lohr, N.Y.Times (Paid Registration)

 According to the Federal Communications Commission, everyone in sprawling Ferry County has access to broadband internet.  But that is not the reality experienced by the roughly 7,500 residents of this Washington county, which is rich in natural beauty but internet-poor.

A new study by Microsoft researchers casts a light on the actual use of high-speed internet across the country, and the picture it presents is very different from the F.C.C. numbers. Over all, Microsoft concluded that 162.8 million people do not use the internet at broadband speeds, while the F.C.C. says broadband is not available to 24.7 million Americans. The discrepancy is particularly stark in rural areas.

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