Broadband as a 'civil right' in America

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps told an audience at Carnegie Mellon University yesterday that access to high-speed broadband should be made available to all Americans as a “civil right.”

"No matter who you are, or where you live, or how much money you make ... you will need, and you are entitled to have these tools (broadband Internet) available to you, I think, as a civil right," Copps said.

Bringing high-speed Internet to everyone is going to be a long journey. While Census data shows some 75 percent of households with incomes above $50,000 have Internet access, just 35 percent of households with incomes below $50,000 have broadband. The U.S. ranks 15th among developed nations in broadband use per capita, down from third place in 2001, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

For more on the hearing:
See this Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story