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February 6, 2012

According to a recent McKinsey study, the Internet is responsible for 21% of economic growth in the more technologically advanced countries in the world. While the Internet continues to empower communities around the globe, over a hundred million American households still do not have access – and this “digital divide” is further deepening social rifts.

Forty-six percent of the poorest households don’t own a computer, whereas only 4% of the wealthiest go without one. And the United States currently pays far more than other countries – for less service and bandwidth. We pay 6 times as much for fiber optics than Hong Kong, for instance.

What can we do to make broadband Internet more accessible and affordable?

Reset San Francisco Founder Phil Ting recently wrote about the federal “Lifeline” program that aims to “focus on reducing the monthly cost of broadband service and digital devices and improving digital literacy.” Although this a good step forward, we need more public awareness paired with government intervention and private ingenuity to really reach the tipping point for widespread activism.

Learn more about the petition for Universal Internet Access for all and check out this infographic by OnlineITDegree.net here.