Wednesday, May 17, 2017

More nonsensical "broadband mapping" BS

Senators Agree That Accurate Mapping is Essential for Broadband Expansion: The CN subsidiary, Connect Michigan, found 44 percent of working-age Michigan adults rely on Internet access to seek or apply for jobs, while 22 percent further their education by taking online classes. But, it all starts with accurate data mapping, which is so important. A fact U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) each acknowledged this week when they introduced the Rural Access bill.

“Millions of rural Americans in Kansas and many other states depend on the promise of mobile broadband buildout efforts, and this critical expansion depends on the accuracy of current coverage data and uniformity in how it is collected,” Senator Moran told Global Affairs. “As we work to close the broadband gap, our providers must have standardized, clear data so they can plan out ways to reach communities most in need of access.” “We can’t close the digital divide if we don’t know where the problem is,” Senator Schatz said. “This bill will help us understand which communities still have bad wireless broadband coverage, so that we can move ahead and fix it.”

This is complete nonsense (or bullshit if you prefer) for two reasons:

1. It conflates premise service needed by the families, businesses, schools, agricultural producers and people who need access to seek or apply for jobs or take online classes -- cited in the news release -- with mobile wireless service. They aren't one in the same.

2. It assumes the "digital divide" can be closed by mapping areas redlined by incumbent landline ISPs. Problem is the incumbent ISPs already know where the redlined neighborhoods are since they redlined them in the first place. What's a "broadband map" going to do to change that situation? Moreover, providers other than incumbents can't plop down discrete networks to fill the swiss cheese holes represented the redlined neighborhoods because telecommunications infrastructure operates as a network over wide areas. Nor would the economics pencil out.

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