No – it isn’t a bad thing. Quiet the contrary, this is excellent news. Part of the Recovery Act, passed last year, is slated to improve the nation’s broadband infrastructure.
This is something desperately needed in our country so that we can compete in the 21st century economy. It should be considered a crime that we still have portions of our country that have no access to broadband internet, and those that do usually end up paying inflated prices by the monopoly that is the telecom industry. Just this week, one member of the FCC lashed out at the industry:
Federal Communications Commission member Mignon Clyburn on Wednesday indirectly hammered Comcast for recently raising its broadband prices.
As Cyburn and other FCC commissioners discussed broadband affordability at a digital literacy summit on Tuesday, Comcast instituted a $2 rate increase on its lowest-tier customers.
That prompted Clyburn to issue a statement rebuking Internet service providers, in general, for their recent rate hikes -- though the commissioner's comments seemed indirectly targeted at Comcast.
Sadly this is like that song that’s stuck in your head – you hear it over and over again. The telecom companies have become much like the health insurance companies. They get to operate as monopolies and can do whatever they want with the prices, leaving consumers stuck with them.
This might all be coming to an end though, and here’s how you can help. The FCC has set up a website where they are asking citizens to have their computer do a simple test to check your connection speeds. You do have to give your address, but that’s just so they know what areas the tests are coming from. You can do the test here.
But what if you don’t have broadband? Well the FCC isn’t forgetting about you either. If you live in one of these ‘dead zones’ then you can either fill out a report online or call the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC.
This is the product of having a 21st century President. We really need to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to broadband penetration, speeds and prices. Hopefully we will have that very soon.