High Speed Internet Access for Some
September 10, 2012
Many of us have come to see high-speed internet access as a given, kind of like electricity and indoor plumbing. However, TechNewsWorld informs us, “FCC Report Finds 19 Million Internet Have-Nots.” It is tough to search without a workable connection.
Yes, the FCC‘s Eighth Broadband Progress Report found that about 19 million Americans lack high-speed Internet access. Out in the boonies, 14.5 million folks go without; in tribal areas, nearly one-third of the population is out of luck, according to the Report. Compared to the rest of the world, we lag in both our rate of high-speed deployment and the overall speed at which the Internet is delivered. The article notes:
“The FCC appears to agree in its report that the situation is untenable, noting that broadband is essential to innovation, jobs and global competitiveness. . . . However, the FCC goes on to say in its report that a lot of progress has been made. It noted that ‘billions’ have been invested by the communications industry in broadband deployment, including next-generation wired and wireless services. Also, there has been an expansion of networks technically capable of 100 megabit-plus speeds to over 80 percent of the population through cable’s DOCSIS 3.0 rollout. Finally, it also said, LTE is steadily spreading via mobile operators.”
True, but that still leaves us relying on the actions of the private carriers, whose goal is to run a successful business, not ensure Internet access for all. While telecom law still does not recognize the Internet access as a “need,” like phone access, it probably should be. The question is—what will we do about it?
Cynthia Murrell, September 10, 2012