<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California.
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Bridging the digital divide: can broadband internet be brought to the masses?

The Obama administration wants to expand access to broadband connections
The Obama administration wants to expand access to broadband connections
Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

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On Monday, President Obama signed a memorandum committing the government to dramatically expanding broadband access, ostensibly easing the use of electronic equipment ranging from cell phones to laptop computers. While this is cheery news for the already-wired among us looking for more bandwidth, and while it's ultimately a good thing for telecommunication companies, there are still a dramatic number of Americans who do not have access to dial-up or high-speed internet. Here in California, bolstering the broadband network is a matter of both economic and social importance, as more computers in the state hooked up to the internet means better information sharing and more job creation. Most politicians and technocrats talk a good game about creating universal access to broadband but much work remains to be done--can we bridge the digital divide?


Norm Mineta, former Congressman & Secretary of Transportation & Commerce; head of a California Emerging Technology Fund advisory board on broadband access

Sunne McPeak, president & CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund