internet access is not equal across america. employers take heed.

September 16, 2011

in e-patient,health communication

more and more employers are moving their benefits communications and enrollment process online. all things being equal, this makes sense when you consider the ease of updating, the number of homes with internet access and the number of americans who use a smartphone.

but all things are not equal. take a look at this map that compares internet speeds for residential customers. seconds might seem a minor inconvenience, until those seconds stretch into minutes stretch into crashes.

internet speeds in america

internet access plays an increasingly crucial role in how well we take care of our health. when people are online, they’re more connected, more engaged and more likely to actively manage their health. that’s why programs like comcast’s $9.95 internet access offer to lower-income families is a huge deal. (this offer was required for a merger approval. still, it’s definitely a case of the people winning.)

that’s also why employers need to think through their game plan for employees in rural areas, in particular. with slow or no access, increased prevalence of obesity and other health hurdles, these employees may never make the health strides they and their company want.

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Jane Sarasohn-Kahn September 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

Fran, thanks for highlighting this strategically important issue. Access to broadband has much to do with health; the FCC Broadband report had a huge chapter devoted to the issue. However, Congress has yet to move on many of the important recommendations to finish out the telecomms infrastructure of America. This enabling platform can fan both economic development and improve health status. Thanks for keeping the subject in your and your readers’ radar! To read about the health implications of the FCC report, your readers can click to my blog post on it at http://healthpopuli.com/2010/03/17/renaissance-for-us-health-care/ JSK

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