Next Generation Broadband in Montana
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Education technology can’t fulfill its promise if students can’t get online.
If Missoula wants to make a name for itself in this century’s digital economy, where better to start than at its source: The networks that bring the Internet to homes throughout the community.
It’s confirming the very message it’s been trying to deny for years: that only when there’s real competition will AT&T invest in making a better service.
Through a combination of existing and emerging technologies, DSL providers starting as soon as this year are expected to increase their Internet speeds up to 100 megabits per second or more, which is comparable to the top rates offered today by Comcast and other cable Internet providers — and a lot faster than most consumers actually use today.
The survey is part of Seattle’s Information Technology Indicators Project, an effort to increase broadband use and technology access across the city.
There’s a myth spreading around in government circles that the private
sector can’t be trusted to deliver vital telecommunications services to our nation’s
communities. Therefore, the solution is–you guessed it–taxpayer-funded,
government-owned telecom networks.
"Everyone deserves fast broadband. I want to burn the red tape that is stopping us for getting there."
While identifying pockets of unserved customers is the focus of the effort, the Commission also has learned of numerous rural schools with limited internet service. Commissioners said extending broadband to schools and other "community anchor institutions" with little or no access to high-speed internet is a priority.
If the politicians falter, they should remember FDR’s words. It’s clear that fiber networks are a natural monopoly and need to be either run directly by the government, or so heavily regulated that it amounts to the same thing.
Increased competition for Internet services will create pressure for lower prices and expanded services.
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