CNET article on one’s experience in getting rural access to real broadband


At last, broadband in the boonies, but at a price | Crave – CNET

My comments

I have run regular coverage about the provision of real broadband Internet service in to rural areas and is something that I stand for as the author and owner of this site. Just lately, I have come across this CNET article about how Crave writer, Eric Mack had succeeded in bringing real broadband to his mountain home in New Mexico, USA.

He was detailing how the WildBlue satellite broadband service was treated as a costly rare premium service compared to the wider availability of satellite pay-TV service in that neighbourhood. Then he talked about the inconsistent provision of ADSL broadband in that neighbourhood by the local telephone company which works in a similar manner to Telstra in Australia or British Telecom in the UK.

Later on, he pointed out the arrival of an “open fibre” network that was laid by a local co-operative who was addressing the need of “real broadband in the bush”. The concept of this “open fibre” network was to allow any and all ISPs and telcos to make use of the fibre-optic infrastructure rather than it being for the exclusive use of a particular company. It is in contrast to the typical cable-TV infrastructure that is for the use of the company that owns it.

Then, in the last article, Eric talked of the possibility of mobile-telephony providers rolling out 3G or 4G mobile-broadband service to these areas. He summed it up very well in the fact that it takes a lot of work to get communications infrastructure providers to establish infrastructure to provide a decent standard of broadband Internet in to these areas.

I see this as a “chicken-in-egg” scenario that if you don’t provide the infrastructure, you won’t get “serious money” in to the neighbourhood in the form of industry, commerce or similar high-value activity whereas you wait upon the arrival of a significant population set and economy before you deploy the infrastructure. This can be more so with neighbourhoods that are outside the commuting distance of a major metropolitan area or don’t have a very significant core economy about them.

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