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Op-Ed: Internet for All

By Julio Franco
Aug 25, 2015
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  1. Since its birth in the labs of ARPANET half a century back, Internet has risen to create a truly global communication system connecting people across the world. The last two decades has seen users rising from forty million to around 3 billion, with one billion added in the last four-five years itself. This exponential growth is fueled primarily by three factors: a robust and resilient global network, growth of cheaper and powerful computing driven by the Kurzweil curve and an ecosystem of relevant services created by new companies powered by network effects.

    Over 4 billion people still remain unconnected to the Internet. Users today are predominantly urban since vast majority of investments by telecom industry went into solving the problem of capacity and complexity while not investing enough on last mile access.

    Read the complete article.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +1,081

    The number of households in the US without broadband access is closer to 21% and some say as high as 24%. This is because the big telecom operators here game the numbers in order to make suburbs that already have cable or DSL appear as "rural" communities. The federal government provides all sorts of incentives for connecting rural customers, but of course those few companies still maintaining terrestrial lines have no intention of investing in *actual* rural infrastructure. Their abandoning copper as fast as they can and that means that DSL goes with it. Third-rate operations like Frontier Communications have taken over in many such areas and provide even more inferior service than their predecessors. In the overwhelming majority of markets the reach of cable hasn't been increased for at nearly 20 years. The only thing AT&T, Comcast and other terrestrial network owners are doing is laying new fiber in markets already saturated with high-speed options. Meanwhile Google and the rest of the US "balloon brigade" are rolling out their wide-area wireless everywhere EXCEPT their own country. Expect the situation to get worse before it gets better...if it ever does.
    lripplinger likes this.
  3. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 281   +97

    I happen to be fortunate that the local rural telecom company where I live has been getting huge grants from the Fed to lay down a lot of fiber. I actually have fiber to the home, and I live in a very rural community. So while I am fortunate, even though I live in the middle of nowhere, many other rural folks are not so lucky. I bet that dial up is still a thing in the U.S. Or if you get DSL, it is barely the speed of 1.5mb down if you are lucky, and very expensive. A lot of people have crappy satellite internet, which as horrid speeds and ridiculous costs and data caps. The thing that I wonder if is used as an excuse to not upgrade infrastructure is the "last mile is so difficult to reach because of the terrain." I say, bull. The local ISP here has been dealing with difficult terrain here in the Rockies for 60+ years, and yet we have fiber running everywhere.
  4. ksanta211

    ksanta211 TS Rookie

    Need help getting internet to Bldg 53 Hines VA hospital campus.
    This is a major metropolitan area and AT&T says we are too far from sending station. Hospitals all around. Internet for office people in building, not for veterans and seniors, in a paperless society. 70 unit Catholic Charities building run by them, run by HUD, and Veterans Administration all pointing fingers at one another.

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