Monday, August 18, 2014

Years After Broadband Promise, Kentucky Still Stuck in Dial-Up Speed

And we're not talking about people in inaccessible hollers and mountainsides.  I live a mile and a half from I-64 and I can't get broadband for any amount of money.

Tom Eblen at the Herald:

When Dr. Pamela Graber traveled in Uzbekistan and Turkey, she was surprised to find fast, reliable Internet connections. She just wishes she could get that kind of service at her home, 20 miles from Kentucky's State Capitol building.

"I sit here and wait for things to come up" on the screen, said Graber, an emergency physician who lives in the Beaver Lake area of Anderson County.

She and neighbors have petitioned a major Internet provider in their area for service, with no luck. So they use a satellite dish service. With data charges, Graber's monthly bill is more than $100 — much higher than she pays for excellent service in Florida, where she lives and works each winter.

While slow Internet is annoying for Graber and her husband, Melvin Wilson, it's a serious problem for two neighbors who have home-based online jobs. "When there's a wind storm, they can't work," she said.

"Internet's the main infrastructure we're going to need to work in the future," Graber said. "It's going to be a huge issue."
 It already is. Akamai Technologies' quarterly State of the Internet report last week highlighted Kentucky — and not in a good way. It said that while Alaska has the nation's worst average Internet connection speed, at 7.0 megabits per second, Kentucky, Montana and Arkansas are almost as bad, at 7.3 Mbps.
In 2012, Governor Beshear promised to bring high-speed internet to rural Kentucky, and announced with much fanfare the Commonwealth Office of Broadband Outreach and Development, which spends its time sitting around waiting for private companies to provide high-speed internet, which those companies are NEVER going to do.

You know why illiterate peasants in Uzbekistan have high-speed internet and Kentuckians don't?  Uzbekistan's government makes sure it's done. It provides to its citizens the services private companies can't or won't.

Kentuckians won't have high-speed internet until Kentucky's government provides it. That's what our taxes are for, goddammi.

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