Do people need nationwide broadband? Consider the phone system -- every time the government mandates a feature or plan, the providers use that as an excuse to raise fees on everything (I just got a notice regarding this kind of thing from QWest, one of the major wellsprings of EVIL in the world ;)). Phone lines are quite cheap, and so are 56k Internet providers; is the average family who checks their email maybe once a day (and might have broadband at work anyway) going to take kindly to increased rates as a result of implementing this? I don't think so.
Broadband is a luxury, not a necessity. Many on K5, including myself, feel that it's a necessity because we spend a large portion of our lives on the Internet. I sprang for the $70 business-class DSL (and promptly shared it with two others, bringing the cost down), but the truth is, it's for heavy use. You don't need 56k to check your email, surf the web, or even stream music (I used to do this on 56k without any breaks in connection).
Now here's my response to the article:
I feel for the person who posted this, since I've gone through the same experience and know how much it sucks not to have broadband available, but it really isn't Powell's fault, Bush's fault (Mike Powell's a CLINTON appointee), or even the telecom's fault. It costs something to run those lines, and if their research doesn't indicate that enough people will want them to justify it, I can understand why they wouldn't.
My only advice would be to A. Check out AT&T (I hate those guys, but you're in a major city, and if you have cable in your area, they'd probably offer broadband to you), or B. Talk with your neighbors and see if they would want it; if enough people want it, any telecom company would put it in; they make a profit that way. They do NOT make a profit by letting people use the flat-fee voice line they already pay for to connect to a free provider somewhere. A final option is to check out "mini" telecoms that lease from the big companies. Integra Telecomm in Portland, OR did this over QWest's lines (this is my provider). This may cost you extra, but if you have even a few neighbors who want broadband, it's time to break out a box of cable, PVC pipe, and your Pringles cans, and make some side arrangements. Soon the huge Internet bill will be whittled down to a more reasonable size.
Anyway, my sympathy...but don't bitch, use your ingenuity. Many people have conquered this problem and you should find a lot of help online.
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American computer programmer, living in Portland, OR.