ComputerWorld Magazine: Government Should Force Telecommunications Providers to Lose Money

In the article ISPs to rural America: Live with dial-up, writer Robert Mitchell apparently wants the government to force businesses to lose money so that BOBOs who move to rural areas can have fast Internet access. The problem:

Kim Rossey is one of them. Soon after moving to Gilsum, N.H. (population 811), Rossey learned that he couldn’t get broadband to support his Web programming business, TooCoolWebs. DSL wasn’t available, and the local cable service provider wasn’t interested in extending the cabling for its broadband service the three-tenths of a mile required to reach Rossey’s house — even if he paid the full $7,000 cost.

Funny, the solution is:

Rural areas need broadband. But deregulation has freed carriers from any real obligation to offer it. The market will never provide universal broadband access without regulation or subsidies, but the U.S. lacks both a coherent policy and the political will to address the issue. Even as the telephony infrastructure itself is absorbed into the Internet, some policy-makers still fail to view broadband as the new critical infrastructure.

The U.S. (government) should compel telecommunication providers to lose money on this install. Or perhaps the government should compel taxpayers to run fiber up to rural homes. Who knows? All that’s important is that the policy is coherent, not that it’s economically viable.

Next up: Compelling Chinese places to deliver to Web design businesses in the sticks. Because third world countries, particularly China, have plans in place to get Chinese food to rural areas.

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