The 260 residents of Ten Sleep, Wyoming, drive at least 26 miles to buy groceries and 112 to catch a plane. You wouldn’t expect an Internet entrepreneur to launch a startup here. But in 2006, Kent Holiday did just that, opening Eleutian Technology, where local teachers tutor Asian students in English through live online videos. He now employs about 500 teachers around the region.
Holiday was visiting his in-laws when he noticed the local telephone utility laying fiber-optic cable: Ten Sleep was getting high-speed Internet. 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 14.5 million live in rural areas. Thirty percent of Indians living on reservations also lack access.
The more densely populated a place is, the more likely it is to have fast, affordable Internet. When people live far apart, service providers don’t profit enough to cover the costs of building and maintaining the physical infrastructure. If they do provide access, it’s often at higher prices and slower speeds than in urban areas. In the rural West, where 2 million people lack broadband access, topography is also a barrier. Mountains and narrow valleys can block signals from wireless towers and satellites and make it difficult to install fiber-optic cables.
Adapted from an article by Emily Guerin, High Country News, 3 February 2014
I.Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text.
- a. According to President Obama, how can broadband access favour local economic development? PAR 2
- b. Why is it difficult to get broadband access in rural areas? PAR 4
II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer by copying the exact passage on the answer sheet.
a. In theory, the population and location of Ten Sleep are not attractive characteristics for Internet entrepreneurs.
b. Around 75% of the American population without broadband access lives in rural areas.
c. Signals from wireless towers and satellites are always accessible.
III. Find a synonym for each of the four definitions below from these six options.
groceries entrepreneur prosper lack provide barrier
IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct.
1. Eleutian Technology employs teachers living in...
- a) many different parts in the world.
- b) Ten Sleep only.
- c) Wyoming.
2. Holiday discovered that...
- a) broadband Internet connection was being laid in Ten Sleep.
- b) people at Ten Sleep were getting new telephone lines.
- c) people at Ten Sleep had access to cable TV.
3. In areas which are not densely populated, Internet service providers offer...
- a) the same prices and speed as in densely populated areas.
- b) better prices and speed than in densely populated areas.
- c) worse prices and speed than in densely populated areas.
Part B. Write a 130 to 150-word composition.
Could you live in a world without access to the Internet?