The NYTimes reported today the Stimulus Plan expected to pass the Senate has $2B allocated to broadband expansion in underserved areas. Currently 25% of the country still does not have broadband, but even still their were Senators who were not supporting this aspect of the bill.
more broadband access would create a so-called "network effect" stimulus: Consumers can spend more by buying online, businesses can save money by digitizing their dealings, and the overall speed and cost of communications can be improved. The Internet could bring a whole new host of entertainment, service, utility and products to underserved citizens, both saving them money and encouraging new spending.
I doubt the film industry had anyone actually lobbying for this passage, but it should benefit all of us. Some short sighted folks will see this as giving greater access to pirates in the boondocks eager to grab for free what they weren't paying for to begin with. As the media stokes such hysteria, they are missing the real issue: the lack of a functioning consumer-driven model.