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View Diary: U.S. internet access is slow, costly and unfair (128 comments)

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  •  I live rural (20+ / 0-)

    But have no high speed since we are serviced by Frontier which sucks.

    They came into WV sucked up a bunch of stimulus money and I don't know anybody who got broadband as a result, despite them saying how much more they would expand it than Verizon.

    I live only 3 miles from a main highway and all I can get is crappy dialup, and I mean it is way slower now than when I first got a computer 10 years ago!

    My wife and I have, and can use high speed at work, but she can't work at home because we don't have it.

    Meanwhile my pal who lives about 4 miles away, who lives on a dirt road with only 2 houses, has solar power, no running water and an outhouse BUT who is served by a small company has broadband.

    So to use broadband when I'm not working I have to drive 4 miles all on dirt roads cross a river and go out a 4 wheel drive road where I'm a few miles from town but thanks to Frontier no high speed for me!

    I've written Manchin, Rockefeller et al no luck. Looks like most of the money that was slated to expand broadband in my area they wasted the money:

    Allred said the state wasted millions of dollars that could have helped build the needed fiber optic network for connecting these planned hubs. The state's 172 libraries, for instance, could instead rely on small and less costly routers that would have saved the state nearly $3 million, auditors found. While 89 larger schools could benefit from the high-capacity routers, the state could have saved nearly $3.7 million by providing lower-scale versions to another 368 schools.

    The auditors also estimated nearly $2.4 million in savings if officials had bought a different mix of routers for State Police detachments. Among other issues, the high-capacity Cisco routers lack parts that allow the State Police to rely on them for phone service. The report notes that the department already has properly-sized routers that provide phone service — after conducting a study of its technology team that the officials overseeing the stimulus spending ignored.

    You'd think with the gov't cutting back postal service, which is a lifeline for rural people they would make more of an effort to get us connected.

    But no you are going to cut off my post office AND not give me broadband.

    Rural people have the least access to education, to good shopping, and now even to mail.

    You'd think that the gov't would realize what a huge boost in retail sales extending internet would be to those of us in the hollows.

    I told my wife when we retire in 2 years we will save a lot of money because we will then be unable to buy anything online due to the slowness.

    •  Dial Up. I Can't Compute (9+ / 0-)

      I've mentioned here I live in a rural area. But outside of St. Louis. Charter, one of the larger cable companies is based here, and I get a lightening fast connection for the US. To be honest something that blows away Comcast or anybody on the coasts.

      But dial up .....

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:53:16 AM PST

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      •  I'll make you feel better. (9+ / 0-)

        In Ohio, just a mile and a half from a tiny village of 1500 people that has Time Warner Cable, my mom can only get two types of internet service (unless you count satellite which is SO overpriced and the bandwidth is oversold so it's nearly unusable).  The first is dial-up, which tops out at 28.8kbps because the phone lines are too old to even support 56kbps.  The second, which she has, is $50 a month for a wireless service, as in there is a radio receiver in her roof that gets signal from a tower eight miles away.  It used to be broadband back when you routinely got between 200kbps and 500kbps, when they first started the service (and we signed up right away because we're tech geeks like that).  Now, they have oversold the bandwidth so you don't get any more than 100kbps on a good day.  And the ISP says it's going to be that way and only get worse, sorry.  But they won't change their rates.  So she pays for a service that sucks, is getting worse according to the ISP, and will never get better.

        The downside to going back to dial-up is that she has to buy a phone line which at a minimum is $35 a month, so it comes out to be almost the same as that $50 when you add on the ISP's bill.  Time Warner refuses to run lines down the roads around the small village, because it's "too expensive."  Talk about no freakin' choices.

        And this is rural Ohio.  Where she's only twenty miles from the nearest mid-size city of 150k people (where I live).

        "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

        by Silvia Nightshade on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:27:36 PM PST

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      •  I live in a rural area outside St. Louis (6+ / 0-)

        Charter has a line at the end of my street, but says because there are only five houses, it's not worth their time to run the line to me. They have given me a price... $18,000 for running about a hundred yards of cable. No kidding.

        Oh, and AT&T says my area is low priority because Charter already covers it.

        So I get by with a 3G card in the upstairs windowsill, and all my slow as molasses service costs me is three times what the people at the end of the street are paying for 100x faster service.

    •  Agricultural extensions may work around ban? (6+ / 0-)

      Most or all of the Land Grant colleges already have agricultural extensions (a.k.a. the co-op, extension office, county agent, ...). Their charter includes the sharing of knowledge in both directions between farmers and academia. This has traditionally included lecture series, reference libraries, and individual office hours for farmers to learn what they need without trekking all the way to the main campus. You could also walk in with a plant or bug you wanted someone to identify, and they could share trends and discoveries back to the main campus.

      I believe this charter could also be made to include the provision of university-grade network connectivity to visitors and nearby libraries, schools and teen homework help centers for free. For residents willing to do some of their own wiring, and whose neighbors were willing to share a cable, it might also extend to homes at some reduced cost. It wouldn't be the municipality doing the work, and everything actually owned by the system could technically be university property.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:21:26 AM PST

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