Saturday, January 12, 2008

Connect Kentucky draws fire from debunker

Art Brodsky of Public Knowledge has penned a lengthy examination of the nonprofit Connect Kentucky in which he debunks its claim that more than 90 percent of the state has access broadband Internet access:

“They haven’t impressed anybody in the state” with the data collection, the source said. Another Kentucky source said that the information on deployment wasn’t at all useful to non-Connect members. Connect’s claim that more than 90 percent of the state has access to broadband has been met with a great deal of skepticism. “It’s a joke,” one knowledgeable source said, echoing what others also believe.

Sources with knowledge of the program said there were a myriad of problems. Connect Kentucky’s results were overstated by a methodology that determined everyone within a 2.5-mile radius from a telephone company facility capable of supplying Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service was indeed capable of getting the service. However, that assumption was not always true, the source said.

Federal Communications Commission data on DSL availability in Kentucky appear to back up Brodsky. In November, the FCC reported that 85 percent of telco customers were able to get high speed services as of Dec. 31, 2006. (See table 14)

And your California-based blogger who is located within 2.5 miles of an unactivated DSL remote terminal can certainly confirm that it doesn't necessarily mean service is available.

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