Lack Of Broadband A Drawback To Country Living

from the lack-of-ethnic-food-no-fun-either dept

The seemingly poor broadband penetration in the United States, compared to that of other developed economies, is obviously cause for some consternation. There’s a lot of debate about what it means, and nobody wants the country to be falling behind in an important area. At least part of this is probably due to the US’ relatively spread out population, and the high number of people still living in relatively rural areas. Just as the telcos were slow to build out phone service in those areas, so too are they slow to build out broadband. This has many in these areas upset, worried that the lack of high-speed internet access will harm their economy, as employers and employees leave to greener pastures. But while we can certainly understand their frustration, broadband providers have a sound business reason for not building out infrastructure in sparsely populated regions. When you live in rural areas, there are tradeoffs you willingly accept, giving up some aspects of “city life” in exchange for the benefits living in the country provides. There’s no reason to treat broadband as something seperate from this equation. If people want to maintain the rural lifestyle but still have high speed access to the ‘net, perhaps they should explore alternatives, like paying for it themselves through taxes and adopting some form of muni broadband. It’d be expensive for them, to be sure, but ultimately someone has to pay for it.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Lack Of Broadband A Drawback To Country Living”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Bermuda221 says:


I just got a wireless broadband connection out in my rural area. I had cable internet back in 2000 when I lived in the city up until last spring. Since then it was dial up. The people and the demand are here. For some reason they just don’t seem that interested in upgrading the area. Never had cable in the area. Just dish. Kinda dissapointing.

Anonymous Coward says:

UPS charges more to deliver packages in rural areas because it costs them more to pick up and deliver since people are more spread out.

Why should broadband be any different?

Burmuda, there are not the people there, there might be the demand, but the fact that its rural means that there are not great numbers of people. If its profitable for firms to lay fiber to you, they would.

Bermuda221 says:

Re: Re:

Actually there are the people. I live in one of the fastest growing counties in MI and has been for ten years. There’s five new subdivisions that have gone in in the last decade as well. The demand is there because the people are there. I realize the upgrade required isn’t cheap. I also know that in doing broadband availability checks, it is available about 5 miles up the road where a station is. It’s been there for around four or five years. I guess personally it’s just frustrating to hear all the promises of it being available ‘soon’ get too ya after a while.

Chris says:

Broadband is only for cities?

Saying that broaadband is part of “city life” is kind of ignorant. Yes it is more widely built up in the cities for the reasons you state, but it wasn’t “invented” for the benefit of city dwellers only.
Saying that someone should pay for it through taces etc as you suggest… is that something that any “city” dweller did? I can remember when there was a lot of outcry because cable hadn’t delivered broadband to some parts of “cities” yet, and the people weren’t made to “explore alternatives”.
It’ll take some time to get to the rural areas. But don’t put the blame for it on the people who live there just because “there are tradeoffs they willingly accept”. Did you ask them if they had these tradeoffs BEFORE the technology was invented? Maybe they were already living there.
You sound a touvh bigoted on this. Give them some leeway.

Frustrated Medical Transcriptionist says:

Re: Broadband is only for cities?

I couldn’t agree with you more. I live on a well-traveled main road, 0.7 miles in one direction the DSL ends, 2 miles in the other the cable line runs. I became a work at home medical transcriptionist 5 years ago. Broadband access was not an issue then, you had to provide two phones lines, one for the computer, one for calls. Then 2-1/2 years ago the company I work for “upgraded” out systems. Since then my work has become a struggle with “dialup issues.” We were told 2 years ago cable was coming through, then they found an excuse not too. Yet, in rural area on dirt road, in the middle of nowhere there is cable access for the “summer people.” Do you see a pattern here? Here’s the real kicker. I was trained through a special program by the state of Vermont for this job I now have. The state is concerned about the “brain drain” in Vermont and wants to bring in “green” jobs. Hello…. we need broadband to do this. Verizon and Adelphia have been fined big bucks for not expanding, yet they pay the fines and continue to drag their heels. I am fortunate, I rent, and will probably have to move or be looking at being “upgraded” out of a good-paying job that I love, something I can’t afford to have happen.

durtgurl says:

Digital Divide anyone?

“When you live in rural areas, there are tradeoffs you willingly accept, giving up some aspects of “city life” in exchange for the benefits living in the country provides.”

Did someone forget that one the”benefits” of the country is that it is sometimes the only place that poor or downwardly mobile citizens can survive? And by survive I mean often below the povery line. The viscious circle of being born into rural poverty and never having the opportunity to escape it is worsening due to lack of (especially digital) resources.

While this isn’t true for every rural area, it certainly is a problem. And the idea that these communities can just throw money at it is downright moronic.

Our own digital philanthropists can provide $100 laptops to developing nations but our own lower classes are falling behind at an astonishing rate – and broadband access is a leading cause.

Can we please think about the entire economy and people other than ourselves before making these idiotic statements?

Monarch says:

Re: Digital Divide anyone?

My God Durtgurl! Your ignorance is unimaginable!
There are poor people with limited access to the internet and computers in the city also. I’ve seen that some of the smallest rural school districts have better computer labs and computer programs than most inner city schools. They may not have the broadband access, but that isn’t needed to learn about computers and how to use them or program them.

Durtgurl says:

Re: Re: Digital Divide anyone?


Forgive me for not writing a 10-page essay on digital divides. I do realize that it is an econimic problem, not only a geographic problem and that even inner cities and suburbs are affected. However, my response dealt solely with the authors argument about why RURAL populations specifically should just “deal with it”.

Please don’t take a 2 paragraph opinion as my entire outlook on any given subject. Thank you.

Anonymous #2 says:

Talking about the impoverished is irrelevant, since broadband internet is hardly one of their concerns if they can’t afford the necessities of life. I do, however, agree that the American poor should not be put on a back burner in the face of the poor from foreign countries. Those African babies are just so darn cute…

As for the rest of the rural folks, they’ll have to put up with a lack of broadband for now. A good internet connection isn’t a god-given right, it’s a service provided by a telephone company that needs to watch its bottom line. Now, I won’t go around defending telcos, but it’s silly to think they’d go around taking enormous losses for the sake of getting broadband to backwoods Montana.

Country dwellers know by now that they don’t get to appreciate the luxuries of the city. Broadband is one of those luxuries. Until there’s a sound business model for delivering the technology, these people will have to find alternatives like the ones described in previous posts.

Tin Ear says:

Re: Backwoods Montana?

Some small communities in Montana are actually quite well connected. I moved from Lewistown, MT a couple of years ago. It’s a small town in the center of the state with about 8000 +/- residents, and more in the farmlands out of town. When I left, there was a wireless network available in town with plans for repeaters a little farther out that would have provided broadband service for the whole town, plus many of the farms around the town. I don’t know how much of the plan has come to fruition as I have not been back, but it seems to me that the ‘backwoods’ ain’t that far back any more…

Lay Person says:

Saying all along...

I’ve been saying all along that broadband is part of our communication infrastructure. Perhaps, now, more important than phone lines.

Thus, it is as important as paved roads, sewer, electricity and water infrastructures.

The tax that is levied on phone companies should be used to expand, support, and maintain that infrastucture.

There simply should not be one suqare inch of U.S. soil that cannot connect to broadband regardless of provider. In fact providers should compete for your business on a national broadband infrastructure.

phil walker (user link) says:

Internet that cares

There are some companies like mine that understand the need for broadband and even offer service in remote areas, but people need to ask us for service. And not compare Dial up to broadband service based on price. Rural internet is available in most areas however cost is the issue. And I am not sure that people are willing to pay a little more to get broadband.

Celes says:

Re: Re: Internet that cares

Satellite? Not at 5 billion dollars a month (obvious exaggeration), thank you. Unfortunately, if I want any internet access at all in my home, that’s what I’ve got to go with right now.

I’m not in a particularly rural area, either; about 10 minutes outside Baltimore, MD. The problem? I live on a boat (because I cannot afford housing in the area), and so I have no phone line. I have the ability to hook up to cable, but no marina in the area offers it. And for some reason I currently live in the one dead spot in all of the Baltimore Metro area for wireless.

I know it’s slightly off-topic, but I just had to vent…

Me baby, ME... says:


What areas are there that do not have broad band? I wasn’t aware that any existed in the US. I worked for a cable company doing broad band tech support a few years ago and we had customers in VERY rual areas… I’m talking about towns with 300 people. The company I worked for actuall specialized in markets not saturated by the telcos and bigger cable companies. In some areas, we had one tech for 100 square miles, but it worked.

BUT, I will say that the cities and counties paid to lay the coper (cable lines) in these areas, but the cable company laid the fiber at their own expense, which they recooped more quickly than one might expect.

I’m not sure what my point is… but there is my one and a half cents…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Cable

300 people isn’t necessarily very rural. And there are a lot of places that people live miles from the nearest town. For example my parents live about 8 miles from the nearest town whish has about 150-200 people. The closest city is about 20 miles away and it only has 12,000 people. There local phone company has been talking about maybe installing DSL repeaters that would potentially expand service out to their house for the last 2-3 years, but nothing has happened yet.

Someone else also mentioned services like pavement, water and sewer etc that also don’t extend out to their house. so broadband isn’t the only service they don’t recieve.

On the other hand they are satisfied with dial-up and the slower connection speed doesn’t prevent them from taking advantage of the internet.

CptKrf says:

Re: Cable

Are you kidding? For every square mile of broadband access, I can show you a hundred that not only don’t have broadband, but don’t even have full speed dialup. And I am not talking about desert, either.

In my rural case, the closest broadband is 35 miles west. 50 miles east. 75 miles south and I can’t measure how far to the north. And this space of this rural area probably has 25000 people. And we are FAR from being the only one.

And… “To better serve you, our loyal customers, we, SWBell, will begin to install combiners on your phone lines so that your maximum dialup speed will drop to 26k. But, our profits will increase since we won’t have to spend money running more wire. Again, let us thank you for this chance to serve your communication needs.”

Tom Evslin (user link) says:

Vermonters ARE doing something about broadband

Only lightly touched on in the NY Times article is the fact that Vermonters ARE doing something about broadband. Locally-owned Vermont telcos do a much better job of offering broadband to their customers than Verizon.

WISPs (wireless ISPs) are filling in the rural blanks that Verizon leaves despite Verizon cherry-picking village centers (thanks to long-ago-granted franchises).

I posted more on broadband in Vermont.

Anonymous Coward says:

how much of a service do we need? does everyone need the net? does everyone need food? where are our priorities? don’t feed the rural poor, but be sure to give them high speed inet access for their porn addiction?

or how about taking care of a coountry thousands of miles away while our own citizens are being murded right under our noses?

moving along…people sacrfice when they make a decision. live in the country, you don’t get the tv channels, you don’t get the name brand fashion clothes, you don’t get the fancy restaruants. are farmers complaining they don’t get the latest gucci or can’t find a decent place for caviar? i don’t think so. and why not? it doesn’t appeal to them, nor does it make sense for the producer to build up. they’d be losing money. same with teleco’s and isps. why spend $xx million to make another 2000 bucks a year or whatever? i know i wouldn’t do it.

i do remember about a time when people made due with what they had, and if they wanted something more, they made it themselves. so if the cuntry farmer whats his high speed porn, he can lay the cables himself, right?

Lay Person says:

Re: #15

Man, what century are you from this is the 21st.

Sure some people like to get way from it all…so be it, they probably also don’t want broadband. So what? These people are the exception and not the rule.

We are addressing quality-of-life and not wannabe hermits.

Anyway, no one had internet in the “good-old-days” as you like to allude. Internet provides a higher quality-of-life. For example: now, you not only can talk to other people in your life but you can share far richer experiences… pictures, music, entertainment, moving pictures (video), text messages, etc…

I’d like to know when the “good-old-days” were exactly because I’m tired of hearing about the past. It sounds like it sucked being alive. Making soap, not having runninbg water, blood letting, major surgery with no anesthesia, lead paint, asbestos pajamas… sounds like shit if you ask me. So when exactly were the “good” or “better” days exactly?

Anonymous Coward says:

I live rurally and work in a large city. Best of both worlds.

I also have broadband via cable.

That said I think the article writer is a bigot.

Broadband is lacking in the US simply because the government doesn’t require it everywhere yet. They did this with other utilities, and should do so with broadband.

It isn’t a luxury, it is fast approaching a necessity.

Quit belly aching because you have chosen to live in densely populated, crime infested, rotting sewers. Next thing you know bigots like the article writer will have everyone not living in a high rise apartment doing without running water and electricity too. Luxuries. Idiot.

James says:

But did we already pay for this???

As for the ‘homeless’ or ‘rural’ who don’t have internet, I thought those high fee’s that we have paid for the last “10”+ years, were there to help take care of them. I used to pay $24.95 for access on dialup (52k)… Now its $39.95 (50x faster) what does that go for? My ISP’s connection sure, but what about those fees collected from millions of users over the past 10+ years?

I remember when I domain would cost a $1000 up front and a $100 a year to keep it going. (Where did that money go? its $10.00 now????)

It is almost like taxes, they never do get paid off, just keep adding and adding for ‘no ones’ good????????

Now its $10 a year for a domain and $10 to keep it going? What gives?

Why can’t these rural places get the internet for cheap too? As a matter of a fact, why can’t all of us get cheap internet (FTTH) for say $9.95 unlimited per month ?????

I guess we’ll see what the next gen internet will bring, high costs for stuff thats already inplace, sounds like we have heard this all before…


jsnbase (user link) says:

So angry...

Bigots and idiots, eh? Nice.

Broadband is lacking in the US simply because the government doesn’t require it everywhere yet. They did this with other utilities, and should do so with broadband.

How many utilities are required by the government to be everywhere? I was under the impression that there existed things such as wells, outhouses, septic tanks, private generators, rainwater traps and so on. I must be wrong, since the government requires that electricity and running water be provided to everyone everywhere.

Anonymous Coward says:

you must have missed the part where I said I had broadband ;-0

The idea that people should have to pay individually for something like internet access at speeds that actually allow productivity is stupid in this day and age.

You may have heard that we are living in an information economy. That information travels over networks, assuming the pipe is big enough to allow it to do so.

Broadband is about the economy. The world’s foremost economic powerhouse is trailing other nations not only in broadband *access*, but broadband speed.

It’s a shame and it is exactly the kind of thing the government has an obligation to address. I believe that is what the general welfare clause of the constitution addresses. You know, that stuff about how requiring people to do everything themselves and at their own expense sometimes doesn’t make sense since the economy as a whole would benefit if everyone had the same access? So, you city folks pay a little bit more to subsidize the rural folks, but in turn the economy is better off and you get indirectly paid back with interest.

Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.

john schutzman (user link) says:

Rural my blankety blank blank

I live just 1 corn field outside of town, hardly “rural” I’m like 1/2 a mile away from town….and I can’t get DSL or Cable or anything.
REASON: the local Telco put their central office on the NORTH side of town about 50yrs. ago and while the town has grown to the SOUTH, it hasn’t grown at all in the north.. so their CO is on the wrong side of town for the majority of the population!!! Everyone on the SOUTH side gets crappy DSL service. Telco refuses to put a second CO in a mid-sized suburb.

It’s stupid things like THAT which keep broadband from spreading.

jsnbase (user link) says:

I don't have a problem with subsidized broadband,

I just don’t like the idea that it’s a pro-city/anti-country issue. Look, the railroads transformed this nation. They generated a lot of wealth, and were heavily subsidized by government at every level – but they didn’t go everywhere. Sometimes you had to ride a horse to a hub.

Disclosure: I live in Los Angeles – about as urban as it gets. But I also live in my car (on purpose). I can get internet access when I need it, but it isn’t always convenient and sometimes I have to pay extra. That’s fine.

The arguments here are getting confused. We seem to have this image of poor rural citizens who require broadband internet for their economic growth. I’d like to see a specific, real-world example of a situation that fits that description. What rural jobs are we talking about that will only flourish with broadband access? I mean this as an actual question, not a firestarter.

The Man says:

Re: I don't have a problem with subsidized broadba

I’d like to see a specific, real-world example of a situation that fits that description. What rural jobs are we talking about that will only flourish with broadband access? I mean this as an actual question, not a firestarter.

You are right, people who live in cites think of people who live in rural areas as “stupid hicks”. I my self live in a small ag community in central california. I have also lived in San Francisco and Los Angles (Long Beach) and would not wish that lifestyle no my enemy). My county is considered highly impoverished. There is no situation that I can think of that having an internet connection would make anyone less poor. Telecommuting jobs in the most part require some sort of education, something the poor often lack. How is high speed internet going to help a farm laborer?

Also, think of the large city you live in. LA in this example. How would high speed internet help the people of the inner city not be poor. The people who live there who want to improve their situation already have jobs, the ones that don’t live off of the government. It is exactly the same in rural areas. The only difference between cities and rural areas is that cites have stupid people living closer together. No more or less stupid people per capita, just more because of population.

by the way, I did not feel like spell checking, but we do have them in rural areas.

Anonymous of Course says:

Haven't we paid for this already?

If I recall correctly, vast sums of money were given
to the telcos by our government, tax payer’s money,
to wire up the country side. In fact the fiber sits out
at the curb, dark. They won’t upgrade the CO.

We paid for connectivity and they haven’t delivered

I’m 7 miles from town and can barely make a 26K
connection… when the phone is working. Thank
you Verizon.

The Man says:

The real shame

It is a shame that anyone thinks that the government should pay for anything for them. Welfare for internet?

Who cares if everyone does not have broad band? Not everyone wants or needs broad band internet. I as a computer professional, do not have broad band or even need it at home. Sure, sometimes it would be benificial, but most of the time I would just use it for porn anyway.

Also, there are alternatives for anyone who absolutly needs broadband. Satallite or Frame Relay / T-1. Anyone can get those, but they need to pay for it. Why should the government subsidise the Internet? That is absurd and insulting. It makes me sick that people even think they should. No one has died as a result of lack of internet access. I think a lot of you live in a strange little world because you are obsessed with the Internet and think the whole world revolves around it.

Lay Person says:

Re: The real shame

I’m sure the same argument was made for running water, trains, and phone lines.

Those that had such “luxuries” (as you allude) were able to advance, not only monetarily but were able to reach out more effectivley with society as a whole (network).

Sure you may need nothing in your room with computers in pieces and a soldering iron in hand. But most people need others to live, whether for business or pleasure.

“No man is an island.”

kweeket says:

Re: The real shame

It is a shame that anyone thinks that the government should pay for anything for them.

What is the government for, then? One of the points of government is to organize large-scale projects for the good of the public. Since these projects require massive coordination, it’s not feasible for people to take care of them individually.

Setting up highspeed internet is similar to government projects like laying the interstate highway system, setting up public transportation, creating parks, and funding libraries and musuems. All those projects would have been difficult – if not impossible – if individuals had to decide to pay for and design their portion. Although once completed these projects benefit everyone, I think most people are too selfish and short-sighted to recognize the value beforehand. That’s why the government is useful – they make us pay for things we all want but are reluctant to fund.

Of course, there are definitely situations in which we’re forced to pay for things we don’t want (right now I feel that way about the war on Iraq), and other times when we want things but the government doesn’t think they’re feasible or important enough to fund.

I tend to agree with the original poster (Joe), in that high-speed internet is another one of the perks of city living, much like decent public transportation. The cost-to-benefit ratio goes down as population thins, and I question the wisdom of spending the most money on the fewest people (since the same length of wire in a city can serve hundreds, but in a rural area only a few). We’ll have to wait and see whether internet becomes as “necessary” to the quality of life as electricity or indoor plumbing; if that happens I expect the government to step in and mandate universal coverage.

kweeket says:

Re: Re: Re: The real shame

I chose my words poorly, since not even paved roads and electricity are “mandated” by the government, and those things are arguably more necessary than high-speed internet.

What I meant was that in the past, as services such as electricity, phone lines, and sewers became common and then ubiquitous, the government used tax money to extend those services to almost everyone. History suggests that the process will be similar for internet if it becomes increasingly important in our lives.

Interesting tangent: Many third world countries have completely foregone the deployment of land-line communications and use purely mobile technology
(as you can see in the CIA’s communication info for Nigeria, where there are roughly 15 times as many cellphones in use than landlines, or Camaroon, where there are 22 times as many cellphones). Basically their government never had the money to lay phone lines, but now they’re able to skip that whole step and progress straight to mobile phones, which require no expensive infrastructure.

It’s possible that if satellite internet ever gets closer to DSL/cable speeds, than the whole issue of the government paying to “run lines” to remote regions can be avoided.

Joey says:

This is addressed at the people pointing fingers and throwing the terms “bigot” and “ignorant” around so loosely in regard to people making general observations and valid points.

Saying that broadband is part of “city life” isnt ignorant – its an observation, and a relatively accurate one. If I told you that the subway is part of “city life” – does that make me ignorant too? Do you insist on having a goverment subsidized subway so you can move between fields faster? While broadband may not be as specific to a city as a subway – as broadband does stretch well beyond cities, its the same principal.

Saying that the government should require broadband everywhere in the country and grouping it with heat and light is ridiculous. Not having a necessity diminishes your quality of life and prevents you from carrying on in a civilized fassion. Broadband hardly falls under this category. I hardly see people’s life suffering based on having no high speed internet. please.

Bottom line – broadband costs money and a broadband network costs a fortune to develop and implement and companies simply arent willing to do it for a town with a population of 387. They should lose a fortune because you want broadband? So a month after they get it implemented they go out of business because they arent making enough money to support it and you have no broadband anyway.

You want it subsidized by the government? Fine. Have the government of your town with 387 people subsidize it. I have no problem with that. I’m not going to pay more taxes so you can download webpages faster out in east bumble.

I live near a city – I have to deal with congestion, and traffic, and people, etc.. you live in a very rural area and you have to deal with no broadband. You cant have everything.

Lucy says:

Broadband vs DSL

We don’t have broadband in the area I live. It is a holiday area and we are excited about the DSL that came in a year after the telephone company upgraded the lines. This is expensive and I don’t find the service very good.
We also have Locl Net who also use, for an extra $5, will give you DSL. (They also use the telephone company’s service) Many of the citizens in the area in which I live are either without or have to deal with a very spotty Satellite service or the slllloooowww dial up.
No one rules but big business and the government. Whatever happened to the people ruling?

Lay Person says:

Reply #33

My county is considered highly impoverished. There is no situation that I can think of that having an internet connection would make anyone less poor. Telecommuting jobs in the most part require some sort of education, something the poor often lack. How is high speed internet going to help a farm laborer?

-Uhhhh….Online classes can get you a B.A. / B. S. degree. They can teach you English, they can teach you math. They can improve your “quality-of-life”. How can you deny that?

Just think a little before you post. Hell, at the very least he can sell some shit on Ebay so he can get his kids some shoes!

jsnbase (user link) says:

Re: Reply #33

Just think a little before you post

I realize that comment wasn’t addressed to me, but it irritates me nontheless. 😉

Uhhhh….Online classes can get you a B.A. / B. S. degree. They can teach you English, they can teach you math. They can improve your “quality-of-life”. How can you deny that?

They sure can – but if Mr. Poor Rural Student already has a PC and internet access, why does he now need government subsidized broadband to learn English or math?

doubledoh says:

Re: Reply #33

I’m blown away that there are so many would-be communists on this website commenting away and making damn fools of themselves. I guess they haven’t read any economic history. Well for those of you that didn’t take history because you weren’t given any broadband for free by the state, let me clue you in: Communism failed…miserably. Why? Because it doesn’t freaking work.

And I’m getting tired of that damn anonymous coward that is equating no broadband with no internet. You only need a phone line to connect to the internet. No, it’s not a blazing fast connection, but you can successfully earn a “BA/BS” over the internet with dial up. You can check your email, you can visit wikipedia and pretty much any site except youtube. But, I’d argue if regular dial-up access wasn’t available in a particular area, you still don’t have a right to force other people to pay for it.

No one has a right to anything in this world except their own freedom and any property they’ve acquired through mutual, voluntary exchanges. That’s it, bub. You want money? Work for it. You want food? Buy it. You want broadband? You can pay for it. No one owes you anything.

Lay Person says:

Just for the idiots...

Just for the idiots:

Internet is more than downloading fast webpages and porn.

I do taxes (really fast) on the internet.

The high paying job I have now? Yup solicited and acquired through…you guessed it…the internet.

Keep tabs on my family’s progress? Yup internet.

Pay my bills (really fast)? Internet…

Rent cars (see models/features)? Internet…

Reserve air flights? Internet…Find the best price? Internet…

Sell all my old crappy furniture (with pictures)? Internet…

My wife? Internet…

I don’t know, maybe it is a luxury…but it makes my life better.

Lay Person says:

Re: Re: Just for the idiots...


Hmmm…no I’m not insulting anyone…you’re just an idiot.

This is clearly, addressing you.

In addition, as far as I see it, if you don’t have broadband, you don’t have the internet. What you have, without broadband, is waaayyy too much time on your hands.

So by and large you’re still an idiot even with an explanation.

The Man says:

Re: Just for the idiots...

Very bad arguments. Yes the Internet may make some things faster, but those things can still be accomplished very easy without it. My point is not that the Internet is not usefull to people, the point is that it is not required as a basic necessity and the idea of government paying for it is stupid. If you want high speed to do all the things you listed, pay for it yourself and do not look to the government to do it for you. Again all rural people can get some form of broadband they just need to buy it.

As for your examples I can:

Rent a car with a phone

Do taxes quickly with a pen

Pay bills with the mail

sell crappy stuff with pictures in those papers you get for free in front of liquor stores

Get flights with the phone or if they still exist travel agencies (have not used one, so don’t know if they are even around)

And I found my wife like most well adjusted people; through friends. But, for socially retated people who use the Internet to date Mail Order Brides are still available.

Damain (user link) says:

Broadband in the country

I live in rural Mississippi. For the past four years my wife and I endured dial-up because that was all that was available to us. About a quarter of a mile up the road was where broadband stopped. Finally after running a semi-successful eBay business on dial-up for the past year, we decided to sign up for satellite broadband.
It’s a notch better then dial up but not much. In the past two months that we’ve had it, we’ve been down for more than 24 hours more than once, and we pay almost twice what a person with DSL or cable would pay. We also have to worry about the F.A.P. restriction. (Fair Access Policy) that allows them to throttle our bandwidth down if we use more bandwidth (down or up) then they allot to us.
Yep, living in rural areas suck. We made a mistake when we bought the house we’re in and we pay for it every time we log in to the internet.

Rob Brewer says:

It Varies with Where You Are

There are a couple of rural areas in Washington state that area uniquely connected. Grant County Wa’s PUD has elected to run fiber to each home, providing telephone, cable tv, and broadband access to each resident for a very low price. In another part of the state, a wireless broadband provider is connecting many rural towns in its region with a network of towers. My company is using their services in three locations and it is very reliable. I know these are unique instances, but high speed data connections are available in some rural locations.

melvin liles (profile) says:


i find it very ignorant on the part of a lot of people to say that living in the boonies vs the city has anything to do with drawbacks or advantages. i , for one, live in the boonies….but i do have cable and broadband….i also have a satellite, although its in boxes for the time being..satellite can and will allow broadband access. I live in a small, class C motorhome….thus i can take my sat and access with me wherever i go…there are alternatives for every existence in life….
have u not heard the president say he wanted internet access for every household?…..just remember, access to info flows both ways..if u live in the country, u live there to get AWAY from the grind of city life and all of the acoutrements therein

jsnbase (user link) says:

That's it!

That’s enough. I sort of see what you want to say, but this:

i find it very ignorant on the part of a lot of people to say that living in the boonies vs the city has anything to do with drawbacks or advantages.

is thoughtless to the point of weakening your entire post. After that introduction, I don’t even care what your point is. Living ANYWHERE has something to do with drawbacks and advantages. EVERYTHING has drawbacks and advantages, up to and including the citric acid cycle.

There’s absolutely nothing ignorant about trying to identify the advantages and disadvantages of a particular situation.

Justin Moore says:

It is becoming more of a need than a want

I live about 5 miles from town and I can not get broadband. I have been trying for almost 7 years with nothing to show for it. I am still in school and I can not move to where it is avalibale.

My mom works from home, and I spend a lot of time on the computer and internet because of my school work and because it is my hobby.

My mom needs a fast connection to make money, I need a fast connection for school (Graphic Design major). Therefore, Broadband is starting to become something people “Need” insted of want. If you dont have broadband, you are constanly in the back of the line if you spend a lot of time on computers… and a lot of people do.

The Man says:

Re: It is becoming more of a need than a want

It’s not perfect but it is broadband and available wherever you are. It is SAT broadband, fast download but a little slow on the upload. Upload is no longer through phone line like it was old school style. It seems to work very well unless you try to use voice (VOIP) over it due to the latency.

Celt says:

Okay, I see an awful lot of people saying they deserve broadband, the government should provide the infrastructure for us. Some are referencing roads, sewer and water lines, etc. Not everyone has that! My grandmother lives in a rural area and has well water and dirt road that she pays to maintain. I live in a rural area where I have broadband. Do I expect anyone to hand it to me? No. If it wasn’t offered by my phone company, I’d go for satellite instead. Why? Because I need it in order to do my job. To me, fiscally its a need, but that doesn’t mean the government should give it to me. I’m sick of paying for those that can’t help themselves and expect others should do it for them. You may say I should get off my high horse, but I’m not the one expecting everything to be handed to them.

jsnbase (user link) says:

Justin Moore

Even if we accept what you describe as a ‘need’ and not a ‘want’ (which I’m not inclined to do), one piece of anectodal evidence doesn’t mean much. In other words, the fact that you and your mom want a faster connection doesn’t convince me in and of itself that the government needs to provide it to you. When you say you’ve been trying to get broadband for seven years, what does that mean? That you’ve wanted it? Written letters? Gotten a job that would allow you to afford Satellite? What?

Michael says:


If the rural folk want broadband – why don’t they just get satellite? Of course some might have a mountain in the line of site to the southern sky. But could be a good solution for many.

Another thought would be to encourage the power companies to offer broadband over the power lines. That cable’s been strung up long ago. Farms and whatever tend to just be too far away from the COs for decent DSL. Fiber is too costly to run to every remote home.

Brendon says:

lack of broadband in BIG rural areas

I live in a rural area about 30 miles from town and the population is about 1200. The demand is definately here but the service isnt. *is typing this on 21.6k*

That solution is fine if you have at least $300 to drop on hardware. The connection is 50-80 dollars a month and the latencies are far from acceptable.

Anonymous Coward says:

You guys really aren’t thinking about the bigger picture in your quest to call names and be the “right” one. The bigger picture is: Broadband is becoming necessary in today’s economy. Not a luxury, necessary. Just like you are very unlikely to get a job without a phone of some sort you have access to, it’s getting where it is highly unlikely to get a decent one without decent internet access. And dial up does not fall within any realm of decent.

Also, if you want some of these poor small towns to grow, you have to entice businesses there. What business is NOT going to take into consideration the ‘net connection?There are people out there that with decent internet access can attend classes online and change the situation for themselves, and who very much want to!

If you want to know where our poor comes from, some of the blame falls on us as a society. Our own government won’t fund college for a welfare mom, but will pay welfare for her and her kids for 18 years??? Way to think ahead! Maybe if we made it easier and more productive to get OFF welfare instead of popping out another kid, we MIGHT make progress. The internet can help with that IMMENSELY if you have decent access to find what a person needs to progress. Thanks to the broadband connection I can work at home and be a REAL parent rather than holding an outside job and only see my kids on nights and weekends. Something that would never be possible in the old town.

Better for the society means also better for the individual. But selfish people can’t see that. I don’t see why you think that city people deserve it more than country. While you are flaming folks for living in the country, I’d like to know where you think that food you eat is grown. You are depending on people that can provide the basic necessitites of life for themselves while all you know is which grocery store is best and your throwing stones???? What do city people really provide that a country person can’t get for themselves to live? Luxuries?? Like they aren’t doing without them now…They stop farming (btw, much of which is done with equipment that actually does access the net over a broadband connection) and you don’t have food. Hehehe, might serve some people right….

City girl that remembers her roots

Laz Sanchez (user link) says:

Municipal WiFi-Mesh CoOperative OFFER

*** This is a copy of our initial “offer letter” we send out to community leaders through out the United States. ***



Mission Statement

To seek a cooperative arrangement from interested communities who desire to partner with Alarius-Net for the purpose of offering the local residents, the business community and the municipal government a 3rd choice for Broadband Internet Access, and the first municipal mesh wireless option that supports and provides a ubiquitous blanket of advanced wireless technologies that serve the entire community foot print.

Primary Goals:
To ensure that the communities contacted understand that we are not soliciting them to engage in a wireless endeavor costing the community millions of dollars to build an infrastructure and to then leave them to maintain it themselves. *This is always an option, but not one preferred by most rural or underserved communities with a small and tight budget.
To ensure that the communities contacted understand that little to NO capital outlay on the part of the town to build or run the proposed service is required for most of our Co-Op options. We finance and build the infrastructure, and run the Co-Op ourselves in most Co-Op scenarios.
To ensure that the new Co-Op introduces a less costly competitive broadband option for residents and businesses within the community’s foot print.
To provide wholesale or “Free” use of infrastructure for all Town offices. Depending on what flavor of “Co-Op” is selected by the municipality.
To provide a wholesale or a “Free” and dedicated network to support Public Safety needs. Depending on what flavor of “Co-Op” is selected by the municipality.

Primary Objectives:
Creation of a more competitive market for Internet Access which should drive better price points and value for the town.
To introduce a reduction in the Town’s operating budget due to cost savings introduced by the cooperative arrangement with the town being a “cornerstone client”.
To guarantee an increased efficiency of municipal operations with the introduction of “Wi-Fiber” gigabit+ licensed microwave technology.
To introduce public safety technologies like video surveillance, tag recognition, automatic WiFi “utilities” meter reading, High Speed Mobility for law enforcement, healthcare “Mobility” for telemedicine, Homeland Security WiFi Mesh, video conferencing and streaming and many other technological advances.

Desired Outcome:
To successfully gain an audience with your community leaders to review a number of proposed “Co-Op” options.
Ultimately, if any options qualify as a possible viable project, a movement to make up project plans is brought up at a subsequent town meeting.
Co-Operative Project Fruition and a satisfied Community.

Key Notes:
Alarius-Net partners with Agility Solutions for lease financing and WiFi consultation. Bill McNamara of Agility Solutions can be contacted for reference or questions concerning our infrastructure financing, technical consultation, implementation questions, and any other municipal or WiFi deployment or ongoing operational questions that you may want answered by us or our experienced partners and consultants which are all subject matter experts on WISP. (Wireless Internet =Service Providers)

Alarius-Net uses the finest carrier grade microwave hardware, towers and installation practices.
Alarius-Net partners with over 80 carriers for bandwidth and dial-tone “wholesale”.
Alarius-Net uses open source Linux servers and appliances for all email, file storage, SAN, DNS, IDS, VoIP IPBX, and other core applications.

Laz Sanchez
407-756-7109 cell

Faceless Goddess says:


I live in the country to get away from people. But people in the country need internet way more than people who live in towns for ordering items if it’s better than going to the nearest town or city. And students who can’t go to a library to use their computers. But how os it fair that we get 6 Mbps vs MBps or worse with no unlimited data. You know what you can do with that? Nothing.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...