Ian Lamont writes "Rural US residents don't have the same kind of access to broadband services as those who live in urban or suburban areas. According to the federal government, just 17% of rural U.S. households subscribe to broadband service. But the problem is more than a conflict between Wall Street and small-town residents wanting to surf the 'Net or play Warcraft — the lack of broadband access prevents many businesses from growing and diversifying rural economies, as it's expensive or impossible to get broadband. From the article: 'Soon after moving to Gilsum, N.H. (population 811), [Kim] Rossey learned that he couldn't get broadband to support his Web programming business, TooCoolWebs. DSL wasn't available, and the local cable service provider wasn't interested in extending the cabling for its broadband service the three-tenths of a mile required to reach Rossey's house — even if he paid the full $7,000 cost. Rossey ended up signing a two-year, $450-per-month contract for a T1 line that delivers 1.44Mbit/sec. of bandwidth. He pays 10 times more than the cable provider would have charged and receives one quarter of the bandwidth.' The author also notes that larger businesses are being crimped, from a national call center to a national retailer which claims 17% of its store locations can't get broadband."
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