Federal Communications Commission

Your Stories About Broadband Internet Access

April 14th, 2010 by Page Schindler Buchanan

Since the rollout of the National Broadband Plan last month, Americans have shared their stories about broadband in their daily lives. In the end, expanding Broadband access is about improving people’s lives - fostering communities, providing access to services and information, and saving time and money.  

We asked you to share your stories of how access to broadband – and in some cases, the lack of broadband – affects you and your community.  The response has been phenomenal.  On this blog we will be talking more about your experiences, and how broadband innovation will make a difference for Americans and their families.  Here is just a sample of what you’ve shared with us so far.

Daniel in Sebastian, Florida

We offer essential services -- employment opportunities, applications for government assistance such as unemployment benefits and food stamps, and online interactions with educational institutions. Here at the Indian River County Library System … an ever-increasing number of patrons are filling our public computing sections to overflow. We want to add more computers. But we don't have sufficient bandwidth to handle the extra load. And with the severe budget cuts we've endured, we don't the funds to pay for it.

Stephen in Marietta, Georgia
Non-traditional College Student

Without broadband I would not have been able to easily and effectively continue my Bachelor of Science degree while working full-time.

Richard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Volunteer First Responder

I am a trained volunteer weather spotter for the NWS in the Milwaukee area, a First Responder trained by the CERT program, and an instructor in Emergency Communications for the American Radio Relay League.

As a first responder, having reliable wireless data communications is necessary when responding to an event and a large amount of data has to be moved or information garnered about the area and what is being dealt with. This could also involve sending pictures, text, information files, etc., by wireless. My current provider, -----, from my experiences, would not have a wireless system that could be reliable enough for First Responder needs in the field.

Jason in Guthrie, Oklahoma
Local Football Fan

We stream our Oklahoma Metro Football League over the internet live.

Frank in Eatonville, Washington

The only internet access available in our area is dial-up. The dial-up connection is a horrible 28.8Kbps. My company offers telecommuting but I can't work from home with such slow speeds. It's too bad because I have to drive almost 40 miles to work. Rural customers like me need an affordable broadband solution. It's like we're living in the stone age out here.

Carol in Reading, Vermont
Rural Doctor

As a surgeon, I need to watch surgical videos to learn new techniques and get my continuing medical education credits. I CANNOT DO THIS IN MY OWN HOME. … it is the lack of highspeed that hinders me professionally and may cause me to move back to civilization, depriving my rural neighborhood of a highly qualified doctor. My husband is a consultant and loses credibility because he cannot access information quickly during conference calls. Please help us.

Please keep sending us your stories.  We’ll continue to share your thoughts about the National Broadband Plan as we work to ensure broadband access for all Americans.

One Response to “Your Stories About Broadband Internet Access”

  1. MAINEiac-a man from Maine says:

    Who should make the Billions of dollars in investment for a 21st century broadband network so we all can have it?

    The regulated Incumbant Local Exchange Carrier who by law ( Telecommunications Act of 1996 ), has to wholesale their entire network to any small "competitor" that want's to Cherry Pick high revenue areas using the ILEC network and overhead without the true expense of providing service...


    The UNregulated CATV companies that are allowed to keep all investments they make in network upgrades for their own use. By virtue of being UNregulated they are not required by law to lease their facilities to small "competitors" . CATV companies can also save money by choosing to serve only the high revenue generating areas and leave the 10 poles per customer business model to some other regulated company...

    The Telcom Act of 1996 handcuffs and inhibits Incumbant Local Exchange Carrier companies from investing in expensive true broadband networks. Broadband is the future of any communications company. ILEC's are providers of broadband service, considered providers of last resort for voice to rural America and by law have to wholesale their entire network to any "competitor", so the "competitor" can "compete" directly against them with the exact same services.

    The small "competitor" uses leased facilities to provide the exact services with No overhead and No regulation . In my opinion this creates a 'Cherry Picking" atmosphere of the ILEC.

    What fool ILEC company would make Billions of dollars in investments for a "competitor"? Build a new network so a competitor can use it at wholesale rates to directly compete back with the ILEC that built it...

    ILEC companies have been conditioned to build for today, not tommorrow.... which I think sets this country back in good broadband investment...

    Regulate all broadband providers with incentives to build their own facilities, provide the same levels of service/standards and force them all serve 100% of any state they want to compete in... stop the "Cherry Picking". An even set of regulations for all broadband providers can create healthy companies and TRUE competition ...

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