28.10.04

Why am I not surprised

HIGH-SPEED INTERNET POLICY FAILURE

The Bush Administration's Internet policy has resulted in high prices that are retarding the spread of high-speed Internet service and widening the digital divide, a report released today by the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union concludes. The report, Expanding the Digital Divide and Falling Behind in Broadband, documents the advantages that Internet households, particularly those with high-speed access, have in conducting economic, social and political activities, and concludes that it is critical to aggressively close the digital divide by promoting universal service at affordable prices for all.
I'm shocked, shocked! The narrowing of competion by allowing companies to take over in almost monopolistic fashion has expanded the problem, not solved it. Competition for broadband users is nil - if I want it, I have to go with RoadRunner. There's no choice between them and Optimum or Comcast or another provider.

When I go on-line at home, I use a 56K modem. Why? Because I'm not spending another $50+/month to get on-line. And my total household income would allow me to do so. Now, what about people who aren't at my income level? Or who are but have more responsiblities and claims on that income (like children)? Relying on Starbucks or work for highspeed access doesn't help. The FCC should mandate that competion for broadband increase, much as it has for phone services. Somehow I doubt this is a top priority for either Bush or Kerry.

1 comment:

Aravis said...

I'm with you. I have no choice really but to use my 56k modem. My ISP doesn't provide DSL service to my area and Comcast (the only other option here in cow country)is too expensive. I'm rooting for this new high-speed internet access through electric cables, though as I think about it now I'm not sure why. We really only have one electric company and without much competition they have no reason to price the service low either. Perhaps as one more option it will help bring prices down locally however. Time will tell.