CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -
To survive, human beings require food, shelter, a job, perhaps even love.
But some experts want to make a last-minute addition to the age-old hierarchy of needs: ultra high-speed broadband.
Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, called Chattanooga “the poster child” for the benefits of community broadband efforts, pointing out that the Scenic City could have found itself on the “wrong side of the digital divide” had it neglected its Internet infrastructure.
Such a digital divide is about more than missing out on cat videos and Miley Cyrus rumors. Internet subscribers today use the web to apply for jobs, enroll in online courses and start businesses. Those without Internet access are at a disadvantage at a time when everything from community newsletters to homework assignments requires a network connection, officials say.