Why a Shortage of Bandwidth is Turning Public Librarians into Traffic Cops

From a Citizen Media Law Project blog post:

A short time ago, the American Library Association (ALA) released the latest update to the Public Library Funding & Technology Study, a long running survey of public access to the Internet. The survey reveals that public libraries are the only point of free Internet access in the great majority of communities, and many libraries do not have enough bandwidth to meet the needs of their patrons. The entire situation is an embarrassing reminder that the US has a hideous Internet access rate.

While this problem is a common refrain (see here for similar examples of this story dating back to 2000), the current recession has pushed many formerly employed users onto free networks. In response, libraries are either capping the bandwidth of certain kinds of content (no longer just a euphemism for porn) or cutting public access altogether.

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