Saturday, February 18, 2012

Post Office says Internet forces closings, but affected residents remain offline

Geoff Brim sent along this Reuters piece that highlights an odd irony. The U.S. Post Office is shuttering offices in rural areas, blaming the Internet for putting them out of business. But the residents of these areas are scratching their heads since so many of them remain disconnected from the Internet due to lack of wired infrastructure. As the article explains:

Internet access has spread the way most businesses expand - to areas more densely populated with people willing to pay for service. Today, rural areas remain less connected to the Internet than urban populations across every technology type, according to Commerce Department data. Nearly 90 percent of the 24 million Americans without wired broadband access live in rural areas, latest data show.

"There's still a real digital divide between rural and urban America," said Ed Luttrell, president of the National Grange, which represents rural America. "You look at rural folks, they tend to rely much more heavily on the Postal Service for delivery of a wide variety of necessities than urban people."

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