Monday, January 26, 2015

Is more better high speed Internet what greater MN needs?

One of my favorite writers, Wendell Berry, is (in)famous for his refusal to write with a computer. He limits himself to pencil or pen and paper. Based on the intermittent, slow and generally crappy (I think that's the technical term) DSL speeds we've been getting from our telco for the past several days, I'm thinking Wendell is correct. Reliance on technology can be a misguided decision. Perhaps more to the point, I'm wondering if the Republican House (you know, the folks who won a number of seats in greater Minnesota) are prepared to do anything meaningful for greater Minnesota (where I live) to ensure we have consistently reliable broadband service. In the twenty-first century, it seems to me that consistently reliable high speed Internet connections should rank right up there with roads and bridges as essential infrastructure that connects rural areas with information sources and markets in the rest of the world.

It's going to be a short posting today because I'm using my cell phone's personal hotspot capabilities to upload this. I think landline phone companies are regulated monopolies. If that's the case, I have growing doubts that making the Internet an FCC regulated monopoly is going to be a satisfactory answer, at least based on the response we got from our telco's tech support, to the effect that the network is overloaded and they don't foresee a fix in the near future.

Perhaps it would be worth considering an option that, instead of having tiered speeds where some content providers get "preferred service," the ICC should consider prohibiting use movie and video content transmission until everyone in the US has good, reliable high speed service at a reasonable cost. Just sayin'.

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