Friday, May 12, 2017

More underpowered, bass ackwards state telecom infrastructure planning

Charleston Gazette-Mail | Broadband council prepares for expanded role: The council will have three different maps for showing internet access: service areas below 6 mbps, service areas between 6 to 25 mbps and service areas with speeds above 25 mbps. Twenty-five mbps is considered the minimum standard for broadband by the Federal Communication Commission. “Having these maps can help us determine where the fiber is and where it isn’t,” Hinton said.
If the United States had built roads and highways and other critical infrastructure like this -- by first mapping where the infrastructure is missing instead of planning where to build it -- much of the nation would have been driving on dirt roads well into the late 20th century.

Telecommunications infrastructure is by nature a broad reaching network. It can't just be "plopped down" in discrete locales and neighborhoods as one AT&T representative correctly explained about a decade ago. It must be built out on a widespread basis and as quickly as possible given the nation is already a generation behind where it should be when it comes to constructing it. It's too big of a job to be left to small states like West Virginia that can't begin to devote the billions of dollars needed. Only the federal government is up to the task.

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