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Debatewiki - The government should subsidize underserved...

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The government should subsidize underserved communities with internet access We argue that allowing communities that are underserved to have a place to access the internet would promote educational growth, something that is prized in society today, however troublesome it seems it has to be achieved. Without internet access, the digital divide will continue to widen, putting a large percentage of today’s youth at an early, undeserved disadvantage. There are so many valuable programs available only on the internet that people without it are left far behind. These days, having access to the internet is as important as being supplied with textbooks. In actuality, it is easier than supplying textbooks, and beneficial in many more ways. If impoverished communities had a library or community center with internet access, it would excite people and get them to give it a try. This could strengthen the community in general as long as the centers are accessible to a majority of citizens. This past week, the FCC voted to allow after-school access to the computers and broadband they have supplied through their E-rate program (Eggerton). With the addition of internet access, libraries can serve as a place where students can gather to work on assignments after class, or simply surf the web, just like an average teen does today. Adults in these communities can use them to apply for jobs, or even connect with distant relatives. Having public libraries and community centers does help with the digital divide but there is a problem with accessing those centers. “If the library or learning center closes at 6 and you don’t get off till 8, that’s not real access” (Krim). Many people who work in underserved areas don’t work normal hours and are not able to visit these centers; this prevents them from having equal access. If the government subsidizes internet in homes, the people in underserved areas would benefit more and it will help close the digital divide. The FCC wants to get more bang out of the current internet subsidies that the government has in place (Tessler). If there are unused economic resources available to these communities then why not use them. The FCC wants all students to have equal opportunity and subsidizing internet for the underserved communities is a great step. There is an $8 million subsidy that pays for internet through a surcharge on phone bills which helps fund the Universal Service Fund. The small surcharge has helped many schools and communities gain broadband access to internet thus helping students gain “digital literacy” (Tessler). If teachers are trained to teach their students how to use computers properly, and the students know how to access information, it could improve the level of schooling that impoverished children receive nationwide. Poor schooling is a problem, however with the Internet, better education is available with a few clicks of a button. If the students become fascinated with the computers, they can in turn teach their whole families. Computer literacy is very important. Without proper instructions regarding how to use
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Debatewiki - The government should subsidize underserved...

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