Internet access: necessity or luxury?

Many of us have the Internet at our fingertips, but many others don’t have access to it at all. The Census Bureau reports that 24 percent of Missouri households, 25 percent in Kentucky, 28 percent in Tennessee, and 21 percent in Illinois are without high-speed Internet.

Sidney Crowell, who has sold Mary Kay products for more than 25 years, says the Internet makes everything easier. She says she’s closer to her customers now through social media and her company website. "You can go to the library, and you can have Internet access," she said. "Everyone this day and time should have access one way or the other to the Internet.”

The Internet is also important for many college educations. Jessica Massey says she’s the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. And now, she wants to obtain a master’s. Mostly, she plans to complete her coursework online.

“I can't drive back and forth to Murray State so, because I work 8 to 5 or longer here I have online access to their databases,” Massey said. 

Massey said she was on hard times at one point and used her smart phone in place of a desktop computer. According to Massey, if you want to bad enough, you can get online.

Denese Byerly was at the McCracken County Public Library today putting in a job application. She says Internet access is just too expensive. While she does a lot from her smart phone, this time it didn’t work.

“The application wasn't going through, so I had to come to the library and re-do it,” Byerly said. She said she’ll do what it takes to provide for her son.

President Barack Obama says this is a digital divide. The administration hopes to have high-speed internet in 99 percent of K-12 classrooms and libraries by 2017.

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