Does it matter that broadband quality varies so widely?
…In 2011, President Obama used Eleutian as an example of the Internet’s effects on rural economic development: “For local businesses, broadband access is helping them grow, prosper and compete in a global economy.”
But such access “ the basic modern infrastructure many city-folk take for granted “ is far from universal. Of the 19 million Americans who lack broadband access “ defined as 4 megabits per second (mbps) download speed, 1 mbps upload “ 14.5 million live in rural areas. Thirty percent of Indians living on reservations also lack access…
“As the Internet becomes a more integral part of daily life, people with shoddy connections are at an economic disadvantage. Fast Internet is necessary to take video-based online classes and to sign up for health care. (Imagine the horror of trying to navigate Healthcare.gov with dial-up.) Rural hospitals use it to video-conference with urban medical specialists, and schoolteachers increasingly record lectures that students can watch at home.”
via Rural Americans have inferior Internet access High Country News.