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RAND Survey Promotes Email Access for All

Like the familiar refrain from the 1920s--"a chicken in every pot," a new RAND Corporation study says the motto needs to be updated to "an email address for every American."

According to the two-year study released by RAND, every American should have an email address even if he or she doesn't own a PC in order to avoid leaving minority and low-income people without a link to the info superbahn.

Currently, 6.7 million consumers have email. The majority of that segment is upper-class, well educated, white, and male. The report says that the federal government and businesses need to work together to make email universal. One analyst, however, expressed reservations based on cost. "That's a great long-term objective," said Steve Weiss, principal of Product Management Group, "but someone is going to have to foot the bill, which doesn't seem possible." The study estimates that it would cost about $1 billion to provide email to 10 percent of all Americans.