RURAL Georgia gets High Speed Internet
WOOHOO YOU GO GEORGIA!!
Outside of big cities, high-speed internet access is often unavailable, which slows economic development and affects education.
There are a few reasons for this. The first is that the U.S. is a very big country, and large swaths of it are sparsely populated, making it inefficient to connect small, rural communities to high-speed networks. The telecommunication industry, meanwhile, is highly concentrated—many areas only have one internet service provider—meaning that companies are not competing for customers in ways that push them to expand their networks. These companies have not, moreover, been incentivized by the federal government to expand their networks.
Former President Barack Obama proposed a broadband subsidy for poor households
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that ostensibly aimed to make it easier for internet companies to connect rural communities
In a policy proposal announced on Monday evening, Abdul El-Sayed (who is running for governor of Michigan) campaign laid out what effectively amounts to a public-public partnership, called “MI-Fi.” The state would provide cities and municipalities with funding to share the cost of constructing their own high-speed broadband networks. These networks would then be run by the cities themselves—in some cases, in competition with private companies. Governments would charge users a fee to access the service, either by providing their own retail service or by outsourcing to a state-run internet service provider that would assist communities unable to handle their own service.
Without shareholders or the profit motive, research suggests that this public internet would result in lower costs for consumers.
Telecom companies have used their expanding market power to gouge consumers and provide subpar service for years. Running on providing better, cheaper internet access is also running against corporate concentration and monopoly power
Still, with plans for high-speed internet expansion stalled at the national level, states have an opportunity to step in. El-Sayed’s plan for a public option for the internet is the most ambitious yet.