Broadband Hype Is Everywhere… But, What's Real & What Isn't

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives
Cover image for  article: Broadband Hype Is Everywhere… But, What's Real & What Isn't

So, broadband has achieved celebrity status in Washington, DC, Los Angeles and even Manhattan … or at least in all of the media. How nice. Like you, I've got broadband … I've got Wave Broadband's top of the line service … sometimes. That's reality.

And, because I live in a small HOA governed collection of houses, condos, a marina and a golf course (not a legal "town" here in semi-rural Washington's Puget Sound … we even buy our eggs and bread from a couple of nearby farms) we don't have state-of-the-art broadband. When it works, it is almost good. When it doesn't, it is because we're watching some interesting show in the early evening. Or trying to watch something from the cloud like Brian Stelter's Reliable Sources or Jeopardy.

Or the news.

Or gawking at how everyone in Congress and C-SPAN is introducing a broadband bill to solve all empty spaces now without affordable and accessible broadband.

So never mind that… let's ignore the Federal Confusion Commission and, as my Representative (Washington's 9th District House member Derek Kilmer) has, pay attention to the USDA's ReConnect Loans and Grant program and fund it more. Heck just fund it more robustly because those of us living out here really need it, especially in this time of pandemic. We have a lot of home workers here, we have enterprising folks living on tribal lands, we have small businesses and students and... Well, you get the idea.

Of course, there's a reason it is hard to deliver state-of-the-art broadband out here… there aren't that many customers to justify it. That shouldn't matter to our government… after all, it once created Rural Free Delivery for mail and periodicals… it needs to do so by helping to deliver broadband to modern rural Americans, too.

This doesn't need to be a hugely costly program like, say, the billions in pandemic payments that went to major corporations and Trump's politically favored. How about, say, some super-low-cost loans to current providers to expand any way possible? …at least our "functional government" solves the pandemic problem.

Random Notes:

Ars Technicadiscovered cable operators have to pay to carry broadcast TV and also that cable operators, in turn, charge customers.

• Who thought set top boxes could be replaced by streaming apps "boxes" that sure are a lot smaller!

• In the "can-you-believe-this-category," the new Democratic Task Force has endorsed a revival of the Obama era "net neutrality" formal and quite detailed regulation of the delivery of broadband. It codifies no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization, "or other measures that create artificial scarcity and raise consumer prices for this vital service." "But," cried critics! No one does that…well, sort of. But they do provide added services (perks on T-Mobile) or cost free perks (no charge for delivery of programs to regular wire or wireless customers) to their own customers (umm, AT&T) …well, only a few do.

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