This is a famous quote that the inventor of WWW, Tim Berners-Lee said, when trying to show just how important the digital age is as well as how vital having access to the web is. One of the things he stresses is for everyone to have constant access regardless of economic status or location.
Recently the Obama stimulus bill passed congress and part of it is to expand broadband access to the masses. There is some criticism however by politicians and others when it comes to this spending like in rural areas with not much access or people. I would agree with Tim Berners-Lee and Obama that in a globalized world full of information it is vital for access to exist everywhere. Simply put open access to broadband will allow kids from various backgrounds to have more equal chances in succeeding academically. It will also bridge the social divide by allo0wing them to interact with other kids from different economic backgrounds.
The stimulus package has really been a great way for Obama to buy congress into spending money for such projects as broadband expansion under the disguise of improving the economy and “saving the financial sector.” It also did that but the other projects included are a bit more controversial. I think it is good that broadband expansion was included and this allowed it to be put on there.
It is now possible largely because of broadband to teach people and kids around the world from the seat of a teacher’s home. I think broadband in many ways is a public good and something that benefits society and the world as a whole.
According to the Committee on Appropriations document about the bill that passed in mid February 2009, broadband spending accounts for $7.2 billion:
“$7.2 billion to expand broadband internet access so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can link up to the global economy.”
Broadband opens up the world to people and with improved broadband as we catch up to Japan, it will allow for more eLearning possibilities as well as eHealth (for instance being able to monitor or operate on someone via the internet) to remote areas of the U.S. Only 45% of Californians have broadband. This means less than half of the residents can take advantage of things such as eLearning with streaming video, really take online classes, and communicate effectively.