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The FCC's latest broadband survey reveals many Americans have no access, and that competition is limited in many other areas.  (Source: FCC)
Recent FCC study finally goes in depth

The FCC's 2006 study looking at the state of broadband in the U.S. was heavily criticized, including receiving flak from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  After all, if it found just one connected broadband connection in a zip code, it counted that entire zip code as covered.  And if it found two nodes connected by different companies that was a "competitive" market.

Now the FCC has released [PDF] a more comprehensive report in lieu of its national broadband plan, and the results aren't so pretty.  Approximately 14 to 24 million Americans nation wide lack access to broadband.  The prospects of those individuals getting broadband aren't good. 

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski writes that most of the unserved live in "expensive-to-serve areas with low population density," and that "without substantial reforms to the agency's universal service programs, these areas will continue to be unserved."

The study ditches the former definition of broadband (200 kbps upstream or downstream) and offers a more stringent definition -- any connection that peaks at 4 Mbps downstream, 1 Mbps upstream.

The report also finds that many more Americans only have access to between 1 to 3 options.  Despite federal antitrust laws, many believe that telecoms have worked together to drive smaller competitors out of the market.  In some regions telecoms have openly sue local broadband efforts and poured millions towards local politicians to ban the initiatives.

The result is a lack of competition that fosters slow, unreliable connections and artificially high prices.

Telecoms were quick to trash the report, which they say "strained credulity".  And Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), ranking member of the House Communications Subcommittee and big telecom allycomments, "I am perplexed by the FCC report’s conclusion."

The FCC plan is to sell wireless spectrum and use the proceeds to build a broadband network to provide an additional coverage option to 100 million American homes.  The European Union nation of Finland recently declared the internet a fundamental right, and that definitely appears to be the direction the FCC is trending in as well.



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My only problem with this is...
By Homerboy on 7/22/2010 10:39:50 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
"expensive-to-serve areas with low population density,"


Most of these people I would assume chose, or choose to live in these out-of-the-way places. I'd imagine many of them don't even have gov't supplied source of clean water (private wells), or easily accessible, well stocked grocery stores etc etc.

Access to the internet is hardly a "right" or even an necessity. It is purely a luxury. Water, electricty and the like are needed. I don't see how it is the gov't job to make sure that every american home is able to receive broadband services.

Now as far as the unfair competition practices go... THATS the shit the gov't needs to take care of.




RE: My only problem with this is...
By eek2121 on 7/22/2010 10:45:30 AM , Rating: 1
Or maybe they can't afford to live in more densely populated areas? My mom earns only 20k/year as a factory worker. Are you saying she shouldn't have access to the internet just because you believe that everyone should live in large, expensive cities?


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Spivonious on 7/22/2010 10:49:36 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe your mom needs to find a better job.

I don't live in a "big, expensive city" and have 4 options for broadband (1 cable, two DSL, 1 4G). If I made 20k a year, I'd have more pressing concerns than getting broadband Internet access.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By eek2121 on 7/22/2010 10:55:50 AM , Rating: 4
Why should my mom have to find a better job just because you believe it so? She has no college education and no job related skills that would make her employable by anyone else. The majority of the people in TN are in the same position.

She lives well within her means, only paying $400/mo for rent for a 2 bedroom house, less than $100 for utilities, and $40 for dialup internet + second line.

So maybe she should also go without electricity or running water because you feel she should live somewhere else?

What about my aunt, who lives in a suburban area (Flint, MI) and has access to no broadband? Should she move somewhere else as well?

What about myself with only 2 broadband options, (1 is capped at 50-100GB/mo) should I move? I'm in the second most populated state in the country!

No, we need to improve our infrastructure. We need more options in existing areas and the USF needs to be reformed to ensure 100% of the population has access to broadband as we do phone and electricity.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Kurz on 7/22/2010 11:01:41 AM , Rating: 2
Why should the Fed Gov go out and fund a project for access to broadband internet. That will cost untold billions without any positive outcomes? She has dial-up you said, honestly yes it was a pain to download files online, but we managed back in the day.

Best improvement will come from allowing free markets for companies to do their thing and offer services to those without broadband.

If companies wont come in... then its up to "LOCAL governments" to offer services to their people.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By eek2121 on 7/22/2010 11:04:55 AM , Rating: 3
Because they already subsidized the phone, and it worked for that.

The 'free market' has deemed the remaining 25 million people unprofitable. My mother's house is about a half a mile from where comcast ends their cable service. Even if they OFFERED her a cable line, they still to this day don't have a two way system installed for her area.

Local governments get sued by the 'free market' when they try to offer broadband, even when offering to 'unprofitable' areas.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Kurz on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: My only problem with this is...
By cmdprompt on 7/22/2010 11:43:14 AM , Rating: 4
The problem I think here is that you haven't realized that your statist experiment has already failed. "We" have already run out of other people's money.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By paydirt on 7/26/2010 7:54:54 AM , Rating: 1
if your mom lives in a crap town and has no skills, that's her own fault. She could have moved out of that town with no economy long ago and gotten skills long ago. She chose to be where she is and has continued to choose it.

If I lived in a small town with no economy and wanted a better life, I would move. I can NEVER understand when I see someone trying to run a restaurant or retail store in a small town. Makes no sense.

At a minimum, IF YOU WANT THE AMENITIES OF MODERN SOCIETY, you need to move to a town of 10,000+ people.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Obujuwami on 7/22/2010 12:11:13 PM , Rating: 2
Just a note for you Eek. The federal gov also subsadized something called the "interstate highway system" and defending its construction as an alternative means to moving supplies incase the railways being destroyed if we were ever invaded.

Now, with the threat of military conquest of the US a far off threat, it is used by the public to get between major population areas and states. The highways also cost the US government BILLIONS of dollars a year to keep in good shape and improve upon and people still have to help pay for it with bridge tolls, fines, and (depending on where you live) fees to use the carpool lanes.

To be quite honest, I think the internet is a absolute right to have and that we do need to improve our telecommunications infrastructure but federal government involvement will make it sub-par to what we want and need.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By theArchMichael on 7/22/2010 12:51:06 PM , Rating: 5
I think you're giving weight to Eek's point here.

The interstate highway system does in fact cost the federal government billions in maintenance and continued development. HOWEVER, I don't think you'll find a person in their right mind that will argue that those billions didn't significantly raise the quality of life for millions of Americans and allow industry to expand and utilize resources which were just not "cost-effective" prior to it's implementation.

The interstate highway system flawed as it may be, is probably one of the greatest successes of the "New Deal" (stimulus package) that Roosevelt pushed.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By The Raven on 7/22/2010 1:47:57 PM , Rating: 4
Well I wouldn't argue against the interstate system on its face but the precedent that it set may have done more harm than good.

And your facts are screwy BTW.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_D._Eisenhower#...
You confused 'FDR' with 'Eisenhauer' and 'New Deal' with 'Fears of the Cold War'

Oh and Ike was a republican. See we have been getting jobbed from both sides people.


By ninjaquick on 7/26/2010 3:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
Trust a military man to know how to move stuff properly :)


RE: My only problem with this is...
By JonnyDough on 7/22/10, Rating: -1
By ninjaquick on 7/26/2010 3:48:23 PM , Rating: 1
The interstate was a long term plan, wired internet isn't. nuff sed.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By gamerk2 on 7/22/2010 11:55:20 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Best improvement will come from allowing free markets for companies to do their thing and offer services to those without broadband.


Stop it, please. The free markets only care about profit; they don't innovate unless there is money in it. Thats why our national infrastructure is in such shoddy condition and disrepair to begin with.

quote:
That will cost untold billions without any positive outcomes?


More efficent business? High internet speeds is a good way to attract business to your state.

quote:
If companies wont come in... then its up to "LOCAL governments" to offer services to their people.


Some attempted to; they all got sued by the teleco's that were eager to protect their regional monopolies. [Hence, the reason I openly support a new antitrust act aimed at statewide monopolies...]


RE: My only problem with this is...
By The Raven on 7/22/2010 12:55:57 PM , Rating: 3
Umm... who made those laws that won the telecoms case? And who presided over the trials? Oh that's right, the gov't.

You are wrong. Truly free markets WILL bring us improvement. Is the telecom industry truely free? I don't think so. But why is that? It is because of gov't intervention. They (and us citizens by extension) wanted nationwide telegraph/telephone to be accesible by all. And look what the gov't pushed them into. A friggin' monopoly.

Now with this broadband push we will end up with a coke v. pepsi type oligopoly. Or maybe a Verizon/Sprint/ATT/T-mobile oligopoly. Or a baby bell oligopoly. But it sure as hell won't be a truely free market.

Anyway, if you want go back to your safety blanket gov't that you keep choking yourself on. It's a free country, right?


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Iaiken on 7/22/2010 4:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
Rewriting history are we?

The AT&T monopoly was a product of AT&T's doing.

It was Theodore Vail (then president of AT&T) who headed the entire effort after a length and aggressive campaign of buying up the competition.

The VP of AT&T then approached the government with a proposal that turned into the Kingsbury Commitment which allowed AT&T to avoid anti-trust suits, takeover and dismantling by the government in exchange for restricting it's purchases to those approved by the ICC.

Ironically, the ICC would then go on to approve almost every single one of AT&T's acquisitions (271 of the 274) after AT&T was recreated as a regulated monopoly after WWI. This remained the case until AT&T's voluntary breakup into the baby bells in exchange for AT&T being allowed to enter the computer industry (specifically, providing internet service).

While AT&T failed miserably and was ultimately devoured by one of it's own children (SBC Communications), the regional monopolies of the baby bells remain largely intact despite fierce competition from Verizon and Sprint.

As for your Coke v. Pepsi assertion, the logistics of it just don't work out because the physical infrastructure for the distribution of coke & pepsi are already in place and much of it (the interstates and roadways) were built by the fed. Since the fed won't build this information infrastructure and they are unwilling to share existing infrastructure with competitors, the situation you describe simply cannot arise.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By rett448 on 7/25/2010 11:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
Bell Atlantic changed its name to Verizon in 1997 when it mergered with a regional operator in New York


By The Raven on 7/26/2010 12:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
Read my post again. You agreed with most everything I said. If you are trying to illustrate a truely free market, I am not seeing one.

As for Coke v. Pepsi:
Read the comments here. It practically is an oligopoly already. Cannot arise? Yeah you're right. It's already risen.

The problem with a truely free market is that it doesn't happen naturally. That is why we need gov't. We need the gov't to compensate for certain factors that throw the market off (mostly consumer generated problems). The problem is that the gov't takes that power too far in their effor to be the best. Bring in jobs, raise the standard of living, etc.


By cruisin3style on 7/22/2010 2:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
While I don't think broadband is a right and unless this project costs little to nothing I'm not too thrilled about it, there is supposed to be a positive outcome to this. It is not, despite what you may have heard or think of it, just to provide Americans with another luxury.

The idea is to increase American productivity. I have no idea how much, but I think how quickly I can access webpages today (even when I'm at work on our crappy DSL) versus how long it took when my family had AOL dial-up. Especially since it seems like Congress will be taxing all purchases on the internet at some point, I guess the rationale could be: make the internet faster so they can buy more sh!t more quickly.

They're probably also trying to do this because lots of other countries are also supposedly hoping similar plans will increase their GDP.

Anyway, just wanted to point out it's not "without any positive outcomes" as far as goals, however realistic, this project has.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Spivonious on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: My only problem with this is...
By Iaiken on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
By Wiggy Mcshades on 7/22/2010 12:35:17 PM , Rating: 3
what is getting in the way is money, no company will spend 10,000 or more to get access to the middle of nowhere and then never be able to get a good return on that investment. I certainly don't want to pay for it if the company that provides internet access won't


RE: My only problem with this is...
By The Raven on 7/22/2010 1:38:37 PM , Rating: 3
How is he a prick for telling it how it is. Truth is she could cut costs and get broadband (Satelite). But she wants her second line.

His main point is almost exactly what your's is: that different people have different circumstances.

My additional comment would be that there are usually advantages to rural living as well. For example, no traffic jams or a view of the stars at night. Should there be legislation to level the playing field? Hell no. There are advantages to living in the city, great broadband is one of them. Live with it.

Now your second point about how rural areas in Canada have access to broadband is a different matter. I have no idea how that happens or what is the tradeoff to get it (or even if it is true, no offense). I would guess heavy subsidies, which would make your point moot. But if it were possible for US companies to get money out of rural citizens I would think that they would find a way to do it. As EVERYBODY here has said, private companies are motivated by money.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By MindParadox on 7/22/2010 2:51:34 PM , Rating: 2
you are assuming there is even satellite in her area :P
my aunt lives in indiana, and there literally is one option for her for internet, and satellite isnt even served in her area(they wont tell her why either)


By The Raven on 7/22/2010 3:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well there is 'satellite' in her area. That is a fact. However the cost of making that available to her must outweigh the benefits to the provider that could pull the signal down for her. I don't know what that could be, but the fact is that if she is willing to pay what they want, they would sell it to her. That is how companies make money.
(Sorry not trying to sound condescending. Just trying to be clear)

That is interesting why they won't explain it to her. BTW, what is the one option that she does have? Cellular internet?


By Wiggy Mcshades on 7/22/2010 1:58:57 PM , Rating: 3
even if there was access where your mom lived it doesn't sound like she could afford it anyway.


By sp33dklz on 7/22/2010 3:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
Your Mom should find a better job if she wants amenities enjoyed by those of us that actually choose to educate ourselves. Its not my fault that she didn't choose to go to college, choose to work in a low-paid factory, and chooses to live in Tennessee. Get off your ass, or enjoy your dialup. Geez!

Reminds me of a lot of these people, sitting in shanty towns, complaining that they don't have any work. The human survial instinct seems extinct. I remember stories in history classes and documentaries on television, showing human survival when resources were thin. You don't see indian colonies who went through 10 year drought's and have no crops for food, staying in their deserts and asking the government for food (at least not during the 1700's and earlier <wink>).

My point being, your mother cannot afford an amenity. It's not my job to pay for it, for her.

-Josh


By espaghetti on 7/22/2010 8:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
My friend lives in a suburban area in Flint, MI. He has broadband cable internet. Flint is still a hole, though.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By NesuD on 7/22/2010 11:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What about my aunt, who lives in a suburban area (Flint, MI) and has access to no broadband? Should she move somewhere else as well?


Dude! I was born and raised in Flint MI and I still live in one of it's suburbs. If your aunt lives in Flint then she does have broadband available. That entire city is covered by Comcast in addition to several DSL options. If she is in one of the burbs then she is likely covered by either comcast or charter. If she lives in the Flint area but has no broadband available then it is because she doesn't want it. There is even a wireless broadband option available in some parts of the county.


By Ammohunt on 7/23/2010 2:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
Your mom has 49 other states to choose from to live in. i have a high school diploma and can afford to work in a big city and live in the sticks and have no problem feeding my family and living comfortable. I moved away from an econmic dead zone(suburbs of a medium size town) to a big city got my experience then moved to the sticks; reminds me of the Sam Kinisson skit about starving people in Africa "move where the FOOD is!!"


RE: My only problem with this is...
By frobizzle on 7/22/2010 11:05:38 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Maybe your mom needs to find a better job.

That's a pretty crass statement.
quote:
I don't live in a "big, expensive city" and have 4 options for broadband (1 cable, two DSL, 1 4G). If I made 20k a year, I'd have more pressing concerns than getting broadband Internet access.

Well, good for you. I live in an area with a county population about half a million and there are exactly two choices for broadband, TW or ADSL. Since ADSL speed and quality is totally reliant upon distance to the switching station, it is not a viable option for many households.

You really need to lose the elitist attitude you sport so proudly.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Spivonious on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: My only problem with this is...
By frobizzle on 7/22/2010 12:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to conveniently disregard the other point about the severe lack of competition in many (most?) parts of the country. Oh! Never mind. I forgot - you have four or five choices in your area so this is not an issue...to you, at least.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Wiggy Mcshades on 7/22/2010 12:37:46 PM , Rating: 1
if making competition comes out of my pocket then you guys without access can suck a big one.


By chagrinnin on 7/22/2010 3:09:51 PM , Rating: 3
Whoa,whoa,whoa,...what you did for access is nobody's business. The wig and shades are a good idea though. :P


RE: My only problem with this is...
By eggman on 7/22/2010 2:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
But she is paying more for dialup than I pay for broadband, and I only have 1 choice.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/10, Rating: -1
By The Raven on 7/22/2010 4:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
They are also encouraging piracy, no?
Or maybe this is their way of setting up their complete takeover of the pipelines by deeming it a necessity and a superhighway used by all .

If so, no thanks.

But I would hardly give the gov't credit for being that smart. But telecom (among other) lobbyists just might be that invoved in such connivery.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By neogrin on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: My only problem with this is...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: My only problem with this is...
By Spivonious on 7/22/2010 11:42:32 AM , Rating: 2
Did I see a pig fly past the window? Reclaimer agrees with me? :P


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/2010 12:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Why wouldn't I??


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Anoxanmore on 7/22/2010 12:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
You are insane? ;) :P

Anyway the big bad government isn't going to hurt you this time. Time to relax. :)


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Kurz on 7/23/2010 9:58:28 AM , Rating: 3
It hurts you everytime a new law is passed.
You never really feel it since its only a pinprick.

Though government is like a unrully 4 year old trying to bother you with a toothpick. You let him do it because it doesn't bother you. The more you let him the more he does it. Till you have scars all over your body and you are weak from the constant barriage.

So the more we roll over the worse it gets.


By Wiggy Mcshades on 7/22/2010 12:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
Not having broadband internet access isn't what I would consider a problem. Its inconvenient at best.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Kurz on 7/22/2010 10:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
Why should internet be considered a right?
Its a service nothing more.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By SirWizz on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
By Spivonious on 7/22/2010 11:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
Have you looked at the map in the article? There are tiny areas of white that have no broadband access. Not exactly limited to populated cities.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Akrovah on 7/22/2010 12:05:24 PM , Rating: 2
Most schools provide internet access to thier students. Most libraries also have internet access. It's not like having internet at home is a true necessity, even for school assignments.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By jimbojimbo on 7/22/2010 2:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
So you're saying if I decide to move into the middle of the Mojave Desert, miles and miles away from any sort of infrastructure at all, that I should expect the government to force and then partially fund a project to get me 1mbps broadband out there because dammit it's my right??

How about this? Instead of paying for people's broadband how about the government subsidizes my living costs of living in the city to match the living costs of those living in extremely rural areas because it's my right!! There are pros and cons of living anywhere and it's up to individuals to decide and then face their decisions.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By HotFoot on 7/22/2010 2:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Fella, you ain't kidding.

I've moved from rual to urban life for my career. Housing is up to 10x the price (for an average home) in the city, and virtually everything else is more expensive. I'm failing to see why people living in cities should further subsidise rural living.

Basic internet, even if it has to be dial-up, is really very cheap, and I'm not aware of anywhere you can't at least get dial-up. There are so many great things about rural living that I can't list them here, but perhaps slower internet is just something to factor into where you want to live.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By neogrin on 7/22/2010 11:34:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why should internet be considered a right? Its a service nothing more.


Why should Electricity be considered a right?
Its a service nothing more.

Why should Phone Service be considered a right?
Its a service nothing more.

Why should Roads be considered a right?
Its a service nothing more.

These are not Rights, they are Necessities.

It's interesting to note that back when Electricity was new. The electric companies did the same thing. Only wired the densely populated areas and then tried to block the local govs, in the low populated areas, from running their own wires.
And I'm sure there were idiots, even back then, that said 'they should move if they want electricity.'


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/2010 11:35:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why should Electricity be considered a right? Its a service nothing more.


Yes but if you don't pay for it, they come and turn off your power.

quote:
Why should Phone Service be considered a right? Its a service nothing more.


Ummm again, my phone service isn't free. Is yours?


RE: My only problem with this is...
By neogrin on 7/22/2010 11:43:47 AM , Rating: 1
Ummmm, Who said anything about Free.

if you Read the F'ing Article. They are talking about people who have little or not access to internet access.

Subsidizing does not mean free. Your Electricity and Phone Service were subsidized (if you live in a low population area) when these services were in their infancy


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Iaiken on 7/22/2010 11:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ummm again, my phone service isn't free. Is yours?


Nope, but am guaranteed to have access to not only a phone a choice between competing phone companies should I so choose.

There is a difference between right to access and right to have. In the modern world, ALL people should have ACCESS to these things. Whether they chose to use them (and pay for them) is another issue entirely.

In Canada and many of the northern states, the gas/electricity companies cannot legally turn off your service in the winter. Do you get it for free? No. You rack up a bill because they are providing you service, even if you can't actually afford it.

Where I live, there are 20+ telephone providers, but only 3 physical networks and prices vary wildly. Many offer service cheaper than the company that owns the network. Same with the internet in this area so why is it that the US has such a hard time fostering competition in this segment?


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Akrovah on 7/22/2010 12:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In the modern world, ALL people should have ACCESS to these things.


And everybody HAS access to the internet through dial up. Broadband is nice, yes, but it is not neccessary. My mother had dial up until just last year, and she was still able to do everything she wanted to do on it. It could still have been used to research school papers, get the news, check your e-mail, etc.

The only reason she upgraded was she wanted to use the streaming ability of her netflix account.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Kurz on 7/22/2010 11:41:52 AM , Rating: 2
There are still many places in this country that don't have Electricity, Phones, Water, and even roads. People survive by providing their own services by solar, wells, cheap rock roads, cell phones, and guns to protect themselves if they can't call the police.

They are Necessities that are supplied by the Free Market.
We supply each other with these necessities. Government doesn't since they are not the producer of these goods. They simply buy up the resources from the Free market and supply it to those who probably don't even want/need the service.

If Local government wants to use their own funds and budget to offer services fine. They can do that. Its not the Federal Government business to go into each state to offer this crappy service on the expense of more debt and tax payer money.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By neogrin on 7/22/2010 11:48:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If Local government wants to use their own funds and budget to offer services fine. They can do that. Its not the Federal Government business to go into each state to offer this crappy service on the expense of more debt and tax payer money.


Part of the point of the article is that the Free Market is blocking local Govs from offering this service.

As for you comment on people that don't have electricity or Phones. In most cases, they have access to these services, they just don't use them. The article is about people that have No access (or very little access) to broadband.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By eggman on 7/22/2010 2:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
It is a source if information, even life saving information if you are remote.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By The Raven on 7/22/2010 4:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
You're kidding, right??

Life alert and brinks home security services provide life saving information. I guess we should set everyone up with that too?

Seriously people? INTERNET ACCESS IS NOT A RIGHT. And broadband? I won't even go there. (Oh wait, I already have)

I can't believe so many people are commenting like this.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By eggman on 7/23/2010 1:51:53 PM , Rating: 3
It takes 30 to 40 minutes for an ambulance to get to my house, since I have broadband I could easily look up what to do and get it done in 10 to 15 minutes. Those 15 to 20 less minutes could save somebodies life.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Kurz on 7/23/2010 2:19:07 PM , Rating: 1
So you have the cool head to correctly diagnose yourself and love ones using WebMD and save their lives.

Sorry I don't see that happening.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By eggman on 7/26/2010 1:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
It is better than doing nothing.


By The Raven on 7/26/2010 12:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a better idea. Have a doctor in the house.

Or just get a copy of "Gray's Anatomy" (the text, not the show) What ever the hell did people do before the internet came along? I can remember it now... I was like a 3rd world country until Al Gore invented the internet. Thank you Al Gore.


By The Raven on 7/22/2010 4:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
Only 20k? Yeah that's a great idea... give her broadband so she can waste her time watching youtube vids.

Sorry not really directed at your mom. More of a shot at how people waste their time on the internet with their facebooks and dailytechs ;-)

But seriously. 20K and she only pays $400 for rent? Thats pretty darn good (25%). Yeah she makes less than me, but she also pays less than me for rent. If she tries to get a job in a more populated area then she also can afford DSL like me. I know that it is easier said than done to find the job that you want in an area that you want as I was recently forced to move out of state. But as a gamer, I went somewhere where the internets would be good lol.

Of course I am (relatively speaking) a young buck and it is easier for someone like me to get a job where I want. That said, it only took me like 4 months to find another job after I quit my previous one. And the city I live in is hardly large and expensive.

Given more time I'm sure your mom could find a new job where there is broadband available. But she needs the motivation to do so. I'm guessing the 'need' for broadband isn't enough.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/22/2010 10:49:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Access to the internet is hardly a "right" or even an necessity.


I agree, it's not a "Right". - However it could be a necessity for allot of people.

Those who live in the "sticks" tend not to have many services, these include medical, which a broadband service may allow doctors to communicate with ill patients without having to travel for hours.

Or how about those that work from home? They probably do find it a necessity to have a broadband connection depending on the type of work they do.

Those are just a couple of examples.
With the digital economy growing at such a rapid pace, having a population of 20-25 million going without broadband is a large portion to be leaving out. (To put it into perspective, it's a larger population size than allot of small countries.)


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Spivonious on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: My only problem with this is...
By Spivonious on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: My only problem with this is...
By SirWizz on 7/22/2010 11:00:21 AM , Rating: 4
Wow, from bad math to bad analogies, I would stop here if I were you... o_O


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Spivonious on 7/22/2010 11:15:06 AM , Rating: 2
How is it a bad analogy? If I wanted a BMW I'd save money and/or cut other luxuries to pay for it. If I wanted broadband, I'd save money and/or cut other luxuries to pay for it. They are both luxury items and should not be subsidized by the federal government. Now, if the local government wants to fund infrastructure improvements so that all of their residents can get access, then go right ahead. But taxing me more so that someone in the hills of Tennessee who isn't making enough money to pay taxes can get broadband access? That's just ridiculous.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By SirWizz on 7/22/2010 11:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
It's not ridiculous if you can see past your own yard. Access to information has been linked to how fast a society evolves and develops and IMHO will become in the future an intrinsic right everywhere whether you live in the hills of TN or at the North Pole.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Kurz on 7/23/2010 9:18:18 AM , Rating: 2
There will be those who value it and those who don't.
Providing access to the internet to those who probably don't care for it won't help the situation.

If they have a phone line they can have access to either Dial up, if they are close enough DSL.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By neogrin on 7/22/2010 11:38:02 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
If I wanted broadband, I'd save money and/or cut other luxuries to pay for it. They are both luxury items and should not be subsidized by the federal government.


If I wanted Electricity , I'd save money and/or cut other luxuries to pay for it. They are both luxury items and should not be subsidized by the federal government.

If I wanted Phone Service , I'd save money and/or cut other luxuries to pay for it. They are both luxury items and should not be subsidized by the federal government.

If I wanted a Road System , I'd save money and/or cut other luxuries to pay for it. They are both luxury items and should not be subsidized by the federal government

There, fixed that for you


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Spivonious on 7/22/2010 11:45:03 AM , Rating: 2
I pay for all of those things, although I'll give you roads. The federal government does have the power to pay for those: it's in the Constitution.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By neogrin on 7/22/2010 11:55:14 AM , Rating: 1
when they first came out, (in most cases) they were subsidized in low population areas.

The article isn't talking about Free access to broadband. It's talking about Access itself.

quote:
The federal government does have the power to pay for those: it's in the Constitution.


Could you do me a favor and link me the section of the US constitution that talks about Roads?


RE: My only problem with this is...
By gamerk2 on 7/22/2010 11:58:58 AM , Rating: 2
Postal Clause of the US Constituion, one of the powers of Congress:

quote:
"To establish Post Offices and post Roads".


Interstate roads also fall under the Interstate Commerce Clause, as would the Internet. This technically means that the Federal Government has the sole right to manage internet policy, and not business/the states.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Kurz on 7/23/2010 10:53:41 AM , Rating: 2
You are grossly over extending the orginal wording.
Some how you interpreted Post office and roads and thought the internet as a road/post office. Which it isn't.

You are not physically moving something.
You are calling and transfering data.

God I love progressives they have to contourt and manipulate 200 year document to suite their interests.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By cmdprompt on 7/22/2010 12:22:47 PM , Rating: 1
People arguing that broadband (in the home) is a "right" or even a necessity are ridiculous.

"Access to information" can be accomplished in many ways: public libraries, open Wi-Fi, heck if it is school related, the public schools give access to the internet -God forbid that the little urchins spend an extra hour at the school to accomplish their online projects.

Arguing that raising taxes (i.e. confiscation of wealth) to fund yet another public program is a worthwhile cause, are disconnected from reality. WE ARE BANKRUPT , we just haven't gotten the papers from the judge yet. And yes, I realize they are "selling spectrum" to "pay for it", but if you believe a one-time sale will forever fund yet another "entitlement" you are stoned out of your gourd -I will just point you to those shining examples Medicare and Social Security. http://www.usdebtclock.org/

My personal favorite is the $354,000 liability per citizen (and rising), which is humorous because only half the working population pays federal income taxes, that means my personal liability is close to $700,000. Just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Already, every dollar I make is taken from me up until June 14th of every year (my tax freedom day). Basically I work for YOU for free for half of every year. If that isn't slavery then I don't know what is.


By callmeroy on 7/22/2010 2:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
No please anything but MORE people driving beamers....

They are friggin everywhere up here in the Philly / DE / SJ area....its impossible for you to drive more than 2 miles and NOT see at least a couple BMWs pass by you. On weekends or during weekday rush hour...BMWs everywhere.....I almost hate the car just because I see it so often.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Motoman on 7/22/2010 1:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, a lot of people live away from cities because they are relatively wealthy and can afford to buy, say, 10 acres of land for their own property. You're not going to find a 10-acre plot in a city, or metropolitan suburb.

There's an awful lot of people who moved away from the cities/burbs precisely because of their affluence and desire for larger/better personal property. So it's not a matter of not being able to afford anything - it's a matter of where people want to live. Not everyone wants to be able to reach out a window and touch their neighbor's house.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Iaiken on 7/22/2010 10:58:11 AM , Rating: 2
You're just on a role here with the crappy math skills... KEEP IT UP!!! :D


By ClownPuncher on 7/22/2010 3:20:34 PM , Rating: 2
Roll*

His math = your english?


By chaos386 on 7/22/2010 11:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
The US has over 2.5 billion people? The population's really grown!


RE: My only problem with this is...
By tng on 7/22/2010 10:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, I take it you live in a major metropolitan area. You make it sound like if they don't already have a broadband connection they live in third world conditions. You get out of the city much? Might be very informative for you if you did.

I agree that this is not a "Right". The government should stay out of this with the exception stopping what I see is colusion among providers to drive up price.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 7/22/2010 12:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
I live within 10 miles of the city limits of a town with a population in excess of 250,000. I cannot get wideband internet, with the exception of satellite. I don't think it's worth moving for the sole purpose of getting faster than 52 kb/s internet. And $720 or more a year is pretty pricey.

It has become plain to me that the large telecoms do prevent smaller providers from serving our area. Following Moore's law, we should have Gb/s speeds for $10 a month.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By Kurz on 7/23/2010 10:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
Moore's law does not apply to Legal manuvering and Government interfering with the process. We'll get there the current restrictions are preventing us from making the technological advance.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By walk2k on 7/22/2010 12:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
*hugs* 50mb/5mb cable $40/mo

Move out of the sticks, kids!


By thrust2night on 7/22/2010 12:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure at some point in our past access to healthcare was a luxury and not a right. I'm sure the same goes for something like electricity.

FYI - Finland recently made 1Mbps broadband internet a legal right. (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10374831-2.htm...

Just because the rights and privileges of internet access is debatable right now doesn't mean that the government should not try to give all citizens access to it. The way our global economy is right now, very soon this won't even be a matter of debate.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By theslug on 7/22/2010 12:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
The Internet is no longer a luxury. It was in the 90s but not anymore. Now it is a utility like electricity or water.


By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/2010 12:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
You are confusing Internet with "broadband". There's a difference.


RE: My only problem with this is...
By nah on 7/22/2010 1:23:54 PM , Rating: 2
One can say that internet access is a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merit_good


Big deal
By Spivonious on 7/22/2010 10:43:01 AM , Rating: 2
This study tells me that 99.5% of Americans have access to broadband. That's good enough for me, and no reason to put our country further in debt to support some publically-funded broadband program.




RE: Big deal
By eek2121 on 7/22/2010 10:48:13 AM , Rating: 3
I would disagree here. Most places only have 1-2 choices for broadband. For an unregulated market this is unacceptable.


RE: Big deal
By Kurz on 7/22/2010 11:05:53 AM , Rating: 2
It is highly regulated by state and local governments.
Companies can't just come in and lay down their lines.
They need massive permits, hundreds of hours of lawyers time.
If there are two companies in an area local governments would say why should we offer you another permit to dig up the ground?

There are 1-2 already enough competition is here.
Government is the reason why we only have those 1-2 choices.


RE: Big deal
By Kurz on 7/22/2010 11:07:25 AM , Rating: 2
(Don't get confused I would love for more than 2 choices for internet)


RE: Big deal
By smackababy on 7/22/2010 11:25:26 AM , Rating: 2
Cities grant companies exclusive rights to offer internet to certain areas. It is hardly regulated as it should be. Having 1 choice for broadband for where I live, when if I move 20 miles I have only 1 choice again, is unacceptable.

How about the city that subsidized world standard speed internet for cheaper then the cable company? Oh, that's right they got sued because it was "unfair". Paying $50 a month for 20mbs when the rest of the world is at 120mbs for about the same cost is stupid.


RE: Big deal
By Kurz on 7/22/2010 11:28:40 AM , Rating: 3
So you are agreeing that cities limit amount of choices.
Then you go to state that cities should regulate because they themselves limited the amount of competition that would normally happen.

So you regulate to regulate what could've happened on its own without government interference?


RE: Big deal
By Iaiken on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: Big deal
By gamerk2 on 7/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: Big deal
By Kurz on 7/22/2010 5:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
The fact there are so many separate networks is what makes the internet possible. It allows for data to move anywhere there is a hub.

The main reason internet is so expensive is that we are a big freaking country. And because local governments have decided that providing more than one service doesn't make sense, and at the same time the companies have in their contracts they won't develop unless they have a monopoly. So you can see what is happening.


RE: Big deal
By tng on 7/22/2010 10:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
Well it is a big deal if you are one of the people affected, but I don't really see what can be done about it anyhow.

I come from a small town in the Nothwest and out in the farming areas that I grew up in, it would be very espensive to provide broadband access.

What this amounts to is the prelude to another goverment program that will cost untold millions and not be very effective in the end.


RE: Big deal
By Iaiken on 7/22/2010 10:55:53 AM , Rating: 2
How's your math there Gilligan?

The study says around 92-95% of Americans have access to broadband... Your retarded 99.5% figure implies that there are between 4.5 Americans and 5 billion Americans.

As for the debt comment, you obviously missed the part where the FCC wants to sell spectrum the private sector in order to fund their endeavors.


RE: Big deal
By chromal on 7/22/2010 1:47:32 PM , Rating: 1
I wish I could force you to suffer the fastest Internet connection available to me. And people who it's under-served peoples' fault for living somewhere underserved make me want to break out a hammer on their face. I pay $27 per MBPS for 1.5mbps, 2000ft away, they have 50mbps for something like $3 per MBPS. It's bullshit.


map
By zyren on 7/22/2010 10:35:37 AM , Rating: 2
If you're going to post a map at least have it big enough so we can actually read it. I have no idea what the map represents besides it being a bunch of colors.




RE: map
By Spivonious on 7/22/2010 10:44:58 AM , Rating: 2
You can click it to make it a bit bigger, but it's still not completely readable. I think the white areas are the ones with no broadband options.


RE: map
By frobizzle on 7/22/2010 10:46:25 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
If you're going to post a map at least have it big enough so we can actually read it. I have no idea what the map represents besides it being a bunch of colors.

I agree. Try this link

http://www.broadband.gov/maps/availability.htm


Can someone tell me...
By Goty on 7/22/2010 11:09:09 AM , Rating: 2
Can anyone here tell me exactly what aspect of broadband access is necessary in order for someone to lead a full, happy life?




RE: Can someone tell me...
By SirWizz on 7/22/2010 11:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt anyone can 'tell' you. The definition for a full, happy life might (with any luck) be different for myself than for you. It is a fact of life that limited access to information puts you at serious disadvantage with respect to others who do have access to it. With the advent of books and thus broader access to information we went further in a few hundred years than our ancestors had in thousands and thousands of years. Everyone should have access to information and thus a chance of bettering themselves and improving their lives.


RE: Can someone tell me...
By Goty on 7/22/2010 12:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you fully, but what does a lack of broadband access have to do with not getting information?


RE: Can someone tell me...
By tng on 7/22/2010 11:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
If he is under 30, chances are he has never seen a book or knows that they once were the repository for information.

Just a problem of people growing up with the info at your fingertips. Oh the hours I spent in a library, trying to find info in bits and pieces from different books in different sections......


Mass media
By Proxes on 7/22/2010 11:08:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'm just concerned about how the Government thinks everyone one has a "right" to TV and internet. They are only worried about people having mass media? Is this a form of control?

I bet a good number of these homes don't even have a computer.




RE: Mass media
By Iaiken on 7/22/2010 12:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I bet a good number of these homes don't even have a computer.


Love the logic here... My family went through 3 computers before the internet was even available. I remember when we got the internet and the only things available out there were plain text pages and the BBS's.


RE: Mass media
By Proxes on 7/22/2010 2:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
I ran a BBS on my home computer back in the 80's. The logic has nothing to do with the availability of the internet, but with the type of people that live in very remote areas.


Limited choices
By ZachDontScare on 7/22/2010 2:36:42 PM , Rating: 3
The reason most people have limited choices is often the local governments. They issue 'franchises' to cable companies, essentially granting them local monopolies. That isnt a failure of 'the market', thats a failure of government.

As far as people out in the boondocks... they choose to live there. If an internet connection is so important, they can either pay for it, or move. There's no reason why people in the cities should be forced to subsidize rural internet connections... any more than people in rural areas should be forced to subsidize the costs of urban social problems (crime, failing schools, etc).




RE: Limited choices
By Lerianis on 8/9/2010 11:25:44 PM , Rating: 2
They do that for a good reason, to play Devil's Advocate. They don't want some 'upstart' company that is going to go out of business quite quickly to come in, shaft the people who switched to them in good faith, and then blame the government for not preventing that.

Oh, and those 'urban problems' are mainly because of too many people in too small of an area. If they were spaced out more and if some people were not nosy nancies, most of those problems would disappear.


The invisible hand doing its thing
By LoweredExpectations on 7/22/2010 11:39:37 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Despite federal antitrust laws, many believe that telecoms have worked together to drive smaller competitors out of the market. In some regions telecoms have openly sue local broadband efforts and poured millions towards local politicians to ban the initiatives.


Another example of corporations self-regulating us to a better future.




By Lerianis on 8/9/2010 11:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. The fact is that those lawsuits should have been thrown out, and the laws that they were based on should have been thrown out as an Unconstitutional impingement on the rights of states.

One of the few times I will ever use that argument, I think.


Broadband
By SuckRaven on 7/22/2010 12:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
But without forcing everyone to have broadband, funded by our own money (taxpayer dollars), how else would the government steer people to other things that they MUST have?

Like Netflix or other bandwidth-hungry streaming services that have govt. official in their pockets.

Soon, Netflix will be a human right also, and people will look at you weird if you say this is something you do not want. How on earth could anyone not want a cell phone, the internet, a computer? These things are incomprehensible to telcos, the movie/music industry, energy/oil companies, and other huge monopolies that run our government.




By mac2j on 7/22/2010 6:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
I was recently shocked when I moved IN MANHATTAN ... as in NYC ... and found out I had 2 broadband choices (1 cable, 1 DSL). To some extent this is a function of historical local govt-supported monopolies etc but it was a real surprise after moving from SF where I must have had 5-7 options.

The point is there's still some real collusion and price fixing going on and I fully support the FCC's new initiatives.




By darckhart on 7/22/2010 6:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
dial up doesn't cut it. why? last time i checked, the internet didn't stay still providing what it did in the early 90s. we are swamped with crap ads, crap everything that sucks up bandwidth. arguments for dial up being good enough is FAIL.

more companies providing service does not mean there is more choice. where i live, ATT owns all the lines in the ground for dsl. comcast owns all the lines in the ground for cable. every other company you think you're choosing to buy service from is, you guessed it, reselling. att and comcast let these companies exist because they're getting their cut. when they feel their cut isnt big enough, bye bye local companies.

you don't like subsidizing stuff? neither do i. but guess what? the idea of denying others necessities is worse. your definition of necessity for broadband may be different than mine, but that's why the FCC exists. how would you like it when the situation arises where you're on the other side of the table?




Rural Towns
By ICBM on 7/23/2010 10:48:25 AM , Rating: 2
Lets cut to the chase. I live in "rural" south Texas. There are a bunch of small towns with 2000-12000 people out here, and guess what. ONE option, if ATT or Verizon feel your town is blessed with enough demand for them to upgrade their central offices, which is often not the case. What about cable? Guess what, cable has been run out of business in small towns. Dish Network and Directv has destroyed them(and rightly so, because local cable was offering an amazing 36 channels!)

I don't think anyone will argue that the telecoms need to cover people that are living 10 miles outside of a municipality, but people within these municipalities need to be covered FAIRLY, and have good choices. If their is only one choice that is fine, HOWEVER if this is because the telecom is unfairly fighting to keep competitors out, they need to be destroyed by Congress and publicly tortured.

When you have scummy politicians talking this report down, I think it is clear they are having their wallets lined by certain "interest groups". That should be equal to treason in my book




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