Last week Jack Geller gave a presentation the Broadband Task Force. The week before he wrote an article in the Prairie Business Magazine promoting the work of the Task Force and inviting folks to offer feedback through the Task Force site.
I think he has done a great job outlining briefly the history of local ISPs and explaining their dilemma. Yes, the US is falling behind other countries in broadband availability. But we’re also falling behind in penetration rates. So, it’s hard for the current providers to invest in ultra high speed broadband when few people are demanding it and even fewer are paying for it.
One solution is to look at broadband as a public utility, which might merit public investment. That is an options that has worked for some communities and a couple providers (when they have partnered with public entities) but in many ways that options has not been attractive to current providers.