Speeding Up The Internet Could Create Thousands Of Jobs


The study delineates how fast Internet access is in all 50 states. In general, Northeast states have the fastest speeds in the U.S. The U.S. is much larger than some of the fastest countries on the list of nations -- for example, South Korea has the fastest speeds -- and therefore faces challenges in providing broadband capabilities those other nations do not.

"Every American should have affordable access to high-speed Internet, no matter where they live. This is essential to economic growth and will help maintain our global competitiveness," said Larry Cohen, president, Communications Workers of America, in a statement. "Unfortunately, fragmented government programs and uneven private sector responses to build out Internet access have left a digital divide across the country."

Slightly more than $7 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the so-called stimulus package) is slated to go toward broadband grants for unserved and underserved areas. A provision in the act calls for a national broadband plan by spring 2010. Proponents view the plan as a job creation vehicle for the IT sectoras well as a way to bring high-speed Internet access to rural and remote parts of the U.S. This study could help focus attention on which of the nation's states need the most help with connectivity.

The survey used the results of the Speed Matters Speed Test, a project of the Communications Workers of America. The test measures the speed of a user's Internet connection. The 2009 report is based on aggregated data from more than 413,000 Internet users who took the online test between May 2008 and May 2009. The Speed Test, a full list of 2009 state rankings and a comparison to 2007 and 2008 averages are available at www.speedmatters.org.

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