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Broadband changes on the horizon

Broadband!    I keep talking about it, because it’s so critical to what we do.

There’s a new bill in Washington state to lift restrictions on public agencies offering broadband to consumers.     The main push – underserved communities.

Why is that important?   Seems the private providers are under new criticism.  A viral tweet from a former Comcast employee is highlighting that the Internet Essentials plans are not enough for remote learning.  That’s new evidence being used by teenage activists to push Baltimore City.  Their group, Students Organizing a Multicultural and Open Society, is pushing through to the FCC directly.  

And while I’m on it.. Bloomberg has a whole piece about older Americans struggling to get access to the coronavirus vaccine because of challenges getting online.    It includes details too of individuals volunteering to help neighbors and family navigate the challenges.

Why do we care?

I’ve been predicting the change to come, and here’s a law in Washington state.    Plus activism from multiple sources, and while heroic, we should not be in a situation where the system is so badly broken others need help like this.

IT service providers should note for two reasons.  First, when I talk about delivering on customer experience… it’s making sure these systems really work for their users.   These should be enabling, not restricting.    I’d be taking a good hard look at my own, and my customers, systems, with this eye.

Second, help lawmakers locally.    What’s notable to me about all of these broadband stories is that the real work happens in local government.  Seems to me there is no better place to get this fixed than at the local level, and this should be where SMB focused providers shine.   Getting broadband to more will create new customers to consume services too.  It’s that best alignment of doing right and doing business.