In some cities, many go without Internet entirely

Do you know anyone without any Internet connection? Probably not. But in some cities as many as 40 percent of all households have no Internet. And the median – among 176 cities sampled – is over 20 percent.

That’s a lot of people who are, essentially, outside the communications mainstream.

Connect Your Community 2.0 is a group pressuring for more Internet access in the Great Lakes area. Director Bill Callahan went through the 2013 American Community Survey, and found that one of his group’s cities – Detroit – showed that 56.9 percent of residents lacked a wireline broadband subscription, and 40 percent had none at all, wired or wireless. Only Laredo, Texas was worse, but many cities were above 30 percent of households with no Internet access. These included such major metropolitan areas as Miami, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Birmingham and Baltimore.

Although many factors explain the lack of Internet, as an analysis of Callahan’s data in Ars Technica explains that, “...it's clear many people simply cannot afford it.

Speed Matters urges both government and the private sector to identify these Internet deserts and apply effective remedies.

America's worst-connected big cities (Redistributing the Future blog, Nov. 3, 2014)

In Detroit and other cities, nearly 40 percent go without Internet (Ars Technica, Nov. 4, 2014)