24.7% of rural Americans have Internet access

The Commerce Department report, prepared in September but undisclosed until after the Presidential election, said use of fast Internet connections grew dramatically through October 2003 to 20% of US households. The report praised such services for fueling online banking, entertainment and commerce. 25% of white Americans used high-speed connections at home. In urban areas, 40.4% of households used fast connections; only 24.7% of rural users did.