Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Free" Broadband OnThe Way

As would be expected, some people want Obama's spending bill to provide broadband access to all California's households. One billion recently printed dollars are being eyed for that purpose by the powers- that- be.

I've said here before I think such efforts are an inappropriate use- if not a waste- of government money. While the article doesn't specify just what exactly this will entail, I get the sense this is hoped to be an ongoing subsidy for certain households, not a one- time expense. This is not good.

Sorry, as the article mentions, 96% of California households have access to high speed internet. That's good enough for me and I don't feel it fair to subsidize those living out in the boonies just so they can download porn movies rather than still pics.

From the looks of the comments to the Bee article, most seem to agree with me.

As always, if asked for a login to the Sacramento Bee website, you can use Humboldtlib for a username and blogspot as a password.


At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

WISPs are a truly libertarian concept. Homegrown internet providers take their own access and spread it out as much as possible. This is usually done free of charge or paid for on a metered basis. These acts can be seen as a subtle protest against the underlying government regulation of internet service which hands the broadband monopoly to a handful of players.

This whole concept of government providing wifi is hogwash. Why would the government do this when they already denied the people access to various electromagnetic frequencies by preferentially selling them off to media conglomerates? If the government really wanted to provide us with wifi, they would have either sold some of the "digital TV" spectrum to technology companies or divided up the obsolete analog television frequencies in a way that Google could have acquired enough bandwidth rights to provide free internet service.

Instead, wifi is limited to a narrow range of public domain frequencies with the legal personal broadcast wattage limit being a mere 1 watt. If the government wanted us to have free internet, all the government would have to do is step aside and this network would be rapidly deployed.

Obsolete government regulation of airwaves is why I am against any "network neutrality" law as that would seal government control of our personal networks.

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, fuck Willow Creek, those people don't deserve high-speed...sigh.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Fred said...

That's right. People live out of the way for a reason. Live off the beaten path has both advantages and disadvantages.

That said, I suspect the folks along 299 might be able to cash in on the fiber optic line they're talking about running up there as the backup for the one we already use here.

Should we go through the extra expense to make sure a line goes all the way to Denny, as well? We wouldn't want them not to have broadband.

At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People in the city have access broadband at internet cafe's and libraries--why worry about individual areas.

I say let those of us in the country (who are salivating for some good porn and maybe the same access to information as everyone else) get the money that goes to city areas.

Sigh, well I don't really say that. But, come on, Fred. Be a bit more fair. Those of us in the country, like me, might be trying to send work to editors. Hours can be spent trying to send or download photos. Really, country folk work, too.

Rural areas are under served by all the tax dollars. The nearest Sheriff is usually in Eureka. Our hospital is woefully underfunded. Garbage services are much less than yours. The last time our road was resurfaced was before you were born.

Could we just have a bit of our tax dollars now and then?

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

Like I was saying, why can't we just beam internet to folks in the sticks?

The broadband companies charge extra for the same product. The only difference between "business" and "residential" broadband is how much the consumer pays per month. I've had both and they didn't run a different cable or make me use a different modem. All they did for business was turn on a critical service that they had turned off (email).

I admit, I do like the idea of the backup fiber optic cable considering that what we have now is a joke. The backup could just as easily be a sophisticated microwave wireless network.

I've heard that some Indian tribes are hooked up with wireless. I'm sure they probably pooled their money together. We should do that. Who wants to buy a couple of long range radios? I don't, those things are like $1,000... but it is possible.

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do I have the feeling that some of the same folks who would be clamoring for this free WiFi access are some of the same who were hellbent on stopping the Cell tower at the apostolic church?

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

I don't these will be the same people at all. You can pick up two unencrypted signals right next to the apostolic church and crack five WEP encrypted ones within half an hour each. One guy keeps changing his password though, it is pretty annoying.


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