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Almost 40% of rural Americans lack broadband

Almost 40 percent of rural Americans do not have access to broadband internet service.  A front-page article in the Wall Street Journal says that amounts to about 23 million people whose on-line service, at best, can be compared to dial-up speeds.

U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says broadband connectivity should be considered the “roads, sewers and water” of the modern age.  But industry estimates say it costs $30,000 a mile to install fiber-optic cable to reliably allow broadband access.

The situation is improving.  An Atlanta Journal-Constitution article says high speed internet is now available to more than 60 percent of rural homes.  A decade ago that service was only in 35 percent of rural residences.

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