Aaron Brown writes about life on the Range. Occasionally he writes about rural broadband as it has an impact on his daily life and the vitality of his community. Last week he spoke eloquently on the proposed funding for broadband in Minnesota…
There are really several very important debates regarding the internet going on all at once these days.
The first is the logistical reality that high-speed internet infrastructure doesn’t reach all the households in Minnesota. Even if people can afford high-speed internet, they can’t actually buy it.
Another issue is the fact that internet service providers have monopolies in some areas create a chilling effect on any expansion of the network or private investment in new areas.
Yet another issue is seen in the recent Time-Warner/Comcast merger, and the Netflix “toll road” deal, where enormous cable companies are finding ways to sell more-reliable internet to richer customers, and leaving a chaotic, second-rate system for consumers and small businesses. …
Internet is a utility. Internet is a utility. Internet is a utility. Not a luxury. Not just for nerds and weirdos. Not just for kids. Not just for cat videos. Education, commerce, culture and news are now widely disseminated through the internet. If you do not have high speed internet, you do not live in modern society. You cannot mine for the internet. You cannot weld the internet in a pole building on the edge of town. You must invest in infrastructure to deliver the internet.
I quoted an earlier post Aaron just last week too. With $100 million for broadband development being discussed, I think it’s important to hear from all corners of un- and underserved Minnesota about where that money should get spent. To be fair, I’d also like to see funding go to metro areas so that we get truly world class speed broadband as affordable prices, but because legislators spend time in the Cities, I think they know the challenges here first hand and here from metro businesses. The rural voice needs be to heard too!