Over the weekend I had the pleasure of offering a class on web development through the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe. They are part of the Blandin Broadband Communities (BBCs) and this opportunity was part of the project. Unprompted by me, the speed of the network at the FdL Community Center spurred a discussion on the lack of speed the attendees experienced at home. I said I couldn’t help speed up their connections but I could help them voice their concern.
To start there were 10-12 attendees in the class – at least one used dialup, two used satellite and at least one used her smartphone to access the web. They were all technology users. They were that small, but frustrated statistic of folks who want to adopt but don’t have access.
You can hear the frustration with the lack of availability and lack of affordability in the videos. All four speakers have businesses but business isn’t their only concern. They are also worried and frustrated with equitable access to education. If you can’t access broadband, homework becomes a problem. They do have good access at the community centers – and the center I visited as a library full of public computers and a very nice computer lab for class but that’s not the same as access at home – especially when your parents are running a business.