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dividing lines  |  a docu-series

why is internet access still a luxury in america?

Dialed Back to Dial-Up in Rural America

When some of the world's most powerful telecommunications companies exert political power in states across the country, small businesses and residents lose out.      

how big telecom isolates rural america

Across the country, state legislatures have created barriers to community involvement in expanding internet access.  




The online world is no longer a distinct world. It is an extension of our social, economic, and political lives. Internet access, however, is still a luxury good. Millions of Americans have been priced out of, or entirely excluded from, the reach of modern internet networks. Maria Smith, an affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and Harvard Law School, created Dividing Lines to highlight these stark divides, uncover the complex web of political and economic forces behind them, and challenge audiences to imagine a future in which quality internet access is as ubiquitous as electricity.


This four-part series is being deployed by organizations and community leaders across the country, from San Francisco to Nashville to Washington, DC, in an effort to educate stakeholders and catalyze policymaking that elevates the interests of the people over the interests of a handful of corporations.      


If you are interested in hosting a screening of the capstone video, please email or fill out the contact form on this page. 



1.  Spread the word. Bring these issues to the attention of your family, friends, and colleagues. Tweet, post, and share the series. The more people who are aware of the crisis that is internet access in America, the closer we will be to closing these divides.     

2.  Join the growing number of organizations, public officials, researchers, and community activists who are deploying these videos in their ongoing work at the intersection of technology and public policy.  

3.  Make internet access a voting issue. Policymakers across city, state, and federal government have the power to change the status quo.    





For all inquiries, including screenings, engagement, and press, please fill out the form below:

My friends, my classmates, and I should have internet access because it’s going to help us for the future.
— Sysy, San Francisco High School Student