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Broadband perception is changing fast

I cover broadband and the changing perception.  Here’s several threads to tie together.

Some more data on the digital divide in schools.    Around 15 million children don’t have the connections they need, and the analysis by EducationSuperHighway says 75% of the pandemic-related effects to fix it will expire in three yrears.    Kids BOTH in rural areas, and Black, Latino, and Native American Households are hit hardest.

The Justice department has dropped its 2018 lawsuit challenging California’s state net neutrality rules.    There are still other legal challenges, although the FCC’s acting chair has come out in support of this move.  The law has not come into effect due to those other challenges.

And before we think I’m unwilling to criticize programs, the Washington Post has an article digging into Lifeline.  That’s the government program designed to ensure all Americans could access reliable communications.  The issue?  The service is so bad it’s not able to deliver value.    33 million households are eligible – only 1 in 4 use it.    The program is to deliver free service… but the allocated credits aren’t enough to provide more than the functional equivalent of 3G service.  

Why do we care?

Look, the takeaway should be that broadband delivery is rather broken.     And we should care because this is limiting the overall market.    

My theme lately feels like local action works.   While not for everyone, there are clearly opportunities for companies to partner with local governments.    With public support for local municipalities for embrace broadband as a utility, there’s a space here.     

Our perception about what access means has shifted very quickly due to COVID.    Before it may have been good enough to say the market can solve it.  Now, we accelerated 10 years into the future, and are finding our infrastructure isn’t ready for that.    There IS opportunity there. 

And while we’re talking about more local….

Source: Axios

Source: The Verge

Source: The Washington Post