Monday, June 02, 2008

FCC’s Martin doesn’t get it when it comes to U.S. broadband build out, fuels myth it’s largely a rural problem

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin continues to mischaracterize America’s poor broadband build out track record as a rural issue, telling last week’s D: All Things Digital Conference that the U.S. lags on broadband access “because it costs a lot more to build out in more rural areas and people who live further apart.”

Memo to Mr. Martin: It’s not a rural vs. non-rural issue. Rather, it’s one of incomplete telecommunications infrastructure that for all too many is an unfinished onramp to the information highway. Or a Balkanized “hodge podge” as the Communications Workers of America termed it.

There are plenty of folks residing in metro areas who can’t get wire line broadband connections from either telcos or cable companies. Oftentimes a neighbor will get service while another down the street cannot. In my own case, there’s both buried telco fiber and Comcast aerial cable 1.5 miles from my home that has existed for years. But neither the cableco or telco offer wireline broadband to me or my neighbors.

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