Internet access still in the future for many in rural areas

Fred Pilot lives within earshot of busy Highway 50.

Proximity to a modern roadway, however, hasn't helped him gain the kind of cheap Internet access that most people these days take for granted.

The 55-year-old Camino resident lives just out of the reach of AT&T's Internet service and Comcast's cable network.

He endured years of sluggish Web service before finally being pulled onto the information superhighway by one of the small wireless providers that have emerged to fill rural Internet voids in the region.

Millions of Americans in sparsely populated areas deemed unprofitable by large communications companies remain without broadband Internet access.

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