One of the things that separates the haves from the have-nots these days is fast internet access and America is lagging behind many of our rivals in connectivity speeds. Luckily states are recognizing that broadband can give their residents a competitive edge and many are working to address the issue.
Public libraries have known about this problem for awhile, especially those in rural areas, but more help is coming. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will also ease the problem (click on your state), and some states like New Hampshire are already making their plans available to citizens and they are including public libraries in their plans. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also working on the problem, so with luck, within the next few years we’ll have equitable access across the country and the US will resume its role as a well connected nation.