States Pick Up Dropped Broadband Ball

US still lags behind in high-speed Internet availability
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2007 11:54 AM CDT
Lineman installs fiber optic cable on a telephone pole.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With the federal government dropping the ball on broadband Internet deployments, many states are picking it up, the Wall Street Journal reports. A Kentucky program has brought wireless to 95% of the largely rural state, and imitation programs have sprung up in West Virginia and Tennessee. Liking what he sees, Ohio Rep. Zack Space has introduced legislation to subsidize state efforts.

“We should be treating broadband with as much importance as we did the electrification of the country in the 1930s,” says Space. President Bush once promised to bring broadband to “every corner of the country by 2007,” but as of December, the US ranked just 15th in high-speed coverage. That leaves rural districts like Space’s worried about losing businesses and jobs.