FCC: Yes you do! Mr. Government, would you mind giving us 40 billion dollars to improve internet infrastructure, this is a massive undertaking and we really REALLY want to help get broadband to under-served regions.
Government: Sure, here's the money! Don't spend it all in one place!
Sounds like this happened 20 years ago and now they're going to try and do it again with this as an excuse to get more money
It happened (by my count) at least twice after the Bell system breakup with Telephone companies accepting government money to bring the internet to rural areas.
After that, I think the broadband companies (many have since merged or otherwise changed) have done this at least twice.
You can ignore any arguments by broadband providers or telco companies (or wireless companies) that they should be protected from competition and given money to build out rural broadband. They're more corrupt than almost any other US companies, and they've stolen billions of USD.
The Internet (at least the backbone) needs to be a public utility, owned by everyone and neutral to everyone, period.
Unfortunately this won't happen until the corruption in the US government is rooted out.
> By the end of 2014, America will have been charged about $400 billion by the local phone incumbents, Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink, for a fiber optic future that never showed up.
The premise is that pre-1992 regulated rates are the proper baseline that reflect the “correct price” of service. The theory then goes that ISPs conned the government into deregulating rates by promising fiber which they never built, which allowed them to raise prices beyond what the regulated rates should have been. In other words: “an iPhone XR should only cost about $250, reflecting a 10% profit margin, so anything Apple gets beyond that is an overcharge.”
The premise is ignorant, but there is no reason to believe the underlying data is wrong. However, whether the conclusion is right or not, the underlying theory is, by its own terms, a theory of overcharge. (Prices being roughly 10% higher than they should have been over a 22 year period.) It’s not a documenting of some money transfer from government to providers.
There are details to be quibbled over, but the history of AT&T is where that premise comes from in the first place! (In particular, the 1982 DoJ mandated breakup and resulting fallout from that.)
The citizen would be asked to fill out one column of check-boxes "from packages reportedly offered in their area" to see which they've been offered by the ISPs, and another to select the level of service they're currently getting.
For instance, the COs are too far apart to drive high speed DSL to the edges of the areas they serve, so DSL 'broadband' is a dalmatian pattern even in an urban area. So you have cable, which is oversubscribed and has ulterior motives. Until your neighborhood has fiber the 'has broadband' question is pretty much on a block by block basis, and in some instances house by house.
The other issue is fluctuating speed at peak times. This is far, far worse IMO, because companies have oversold capacity and should be considered false advertising.
We wound up in a more established, less rural area, where we have exactly one choice in internet providers (Comcast).
No option for a wifi or optical LOS connection over that mile distance? Or was that not something you wanted to take on (understandable - can be a ton of work and difficult depending on LOS obstacles - maybe even pricey)?
My folks live in a small town with 1 tower for the town that has verizon, thats the only internet, and its slow.
This one time work put in frame relay to employees homes, they asked for my address and didnt ask if I was a owner, I was renting the house. One day a crew showed up and ran copper to my computer room. I had instant access into the servernet for work. (it was decades ago...)
I'm really looking forward to Sat internet like spacex, so I can sit in a cabin away from everyone, and still work. Someday soon I hope.
Do you really think that ISP's marketing teams don't have this information?
I saw this in action when I ordered Comcast Gigabit Pro at my house. They looked at a map and figured there was a place close enough where they could splice fiber. Then they sent out someone to do a ground survey, put together an estimate, and then some bean counters decided whether they would eat the up front cost. The whole process took a month or so (followed by a couple of months to get permits and two full days for a four-person team to actually pull the fiber).
It just seems like more politics to yell at the FCC to gather this data - why do we want it?
Phone line, power line, mail service...
We used to understand there is great value in universal service. It was almost a given that having everyone in the same century was a great public good despite the loses incurred on behalf of some users.
Today that's gone. The supposed "right" are simply Senators or Congressman from Comcast et al. The "left" is indulging a growing contempt for anyone not living in a dense city. There is literally no part of the establishment with any interest solving rural broadband. So it festers endlessly; we can't even measure the problem.
I'm betting on Starlink because I don't have enough decades left for the politics of traditional broadband internet service to unfuck itself.
His theory was we'd stop rural flight if people had internet access where they were. Al Gore's curse here is that Al Gore fits in with the popular kids. I don't think it occurred to him how narrow the definition of 'community' is when the population is sparse. In addition to the people who stick out like a sore thumb and simply don't belong, you have a larger silent group of people who pass for normal.
Those people see themselves as refugees, after a fashion. They're going to have some sour grapes for the place that "didn't want them", where they couldn't be themselves. Two can play that game, and cities have the strength to punch back, harder.
If the internet hadn't balkanized, I had hopes that this cycle would slow down or reverse. Exposure therapy makes people more accepting of situations that are unfamiliar. It's one of the things that happens to you in the city. Or to a lesser extent in popular media. Maybe Al was thinking the same thing, I can't say. Things are instead just getting more polarized.
Maybe it's the horse and water problem. People who don't question their assumptions aren't going to go on the internet and educate themselves out of the status quo.
Eminent domain the utility poles and buried conduits to transfer them to the county/municipality, though. Too many companies squeeze out competition by saying "you can't hang your wires on our poles".
These companies have been sitting on ass, collecting rents, because they are legally protected from competition. The instant a viable competitor shows up, they scramble to clean up their acts. So strip away their protection.
Wherever they don't build out, they lose the market, because the residents might do it themselves.