Monday, February 7, 2011

Why Can't I Get Broadband Internet At Home?

Most areas of New York state do get broadband, even if only from one provider. (In my area, it's Time Warner or Verizon DSL.) But if you live in a rural area, you might not be able to get broadband internet access. Why is this, when so much of daily life is now conducted online, in ways that just aren't supported by the old copper wire connections?

While broadband would be even helpful to the people who live in sparsely populated areas than to those of us who can easily travel to libraries, colleges, stores, banks, and other services, there's no way the internet service providers could turn enough of a profit providing service to them. They would have to lay many miles of cable and send trucks out to service those remote locations, and all that for a few hundred new customers? It wouldn't even begin to pay for itself.

And broadband internet is not covered by public utility law. That means that the government can't create incentives or penalties to pressure internet service providers (like ComCast, Verizon DSL, and Time Warner) to provide service in sparsely populated areas.

If you are interested in this issue, check out this link: http://www.mediaaccess.org/
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