Monday, April 06, 2009

Stimulus and broadband

In a recent story in the (Louisville) Courier-Journal, Todd County was ranked in the bottom 10 counties in the state with broadband access.

The story implied that soon all of the lower ranking counties could be getting some stimulus money for rural broadband. The problem is how the $7.2 billion is divided up. The Standard did a story on this a few months ago and the money is not going to magically fall out of the sky.

Actually, without some serious pull from U.S. Rep Ed Whitfield there might be little cash coming our way.

Also, in a graphic, the C-J said Todd County had 68 percent of households with broadband service available. That is a laughable number, obviously given by someone like ConnectKentucky — a lobbyist group that counts the expensive satellite service, the number for affordable broadband is most likely the inverse of that number (40 percent at best.)

We'll say it here first: There is no way 7 out of 10 homes in Todd County have Internet availability. No way.

Sure, the so-called experts that live and work in the Golden Triangle like to say there is availability here, but they aren't the ones having to pay for satellite packages that will drain the "working" poors' home budget.

How do we know this? Ask the school system and see how many students with take-home laptops can afford high-speed service through satellite. Then ask the school system what the options are for most of the people who live outside of the cities or service lines for cable and AT&T and see how many have no affordable options despite their children having a $1,200 laptop given to them to use.

Where is the sense of urgency?

It is lost in someone trying to figure out how to make money off of what should be based on a taxed system like roads, bridges and other infrastructures.

There are somethings you shouldn't try to make a dollar off of, and rural broadband is one of them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets hope someday soon within the next 10 years we will actually see and get broadband-high speed internet access for all of todd county,ky and not just for the towns and cities of elkton-guthrie-trenton.We need broadband in all of the rural back roads in todd county,ky including clifty-kirksmansville and others as well.We need to see it at a price that is affordable , like no more than $25.00- to $35.00- per month for unlimited internet broadband high speed.

3:38 PM, April 06, 2009  
Blogger Julie Wright said...

This is exactly the difficulty in defining unserved and underserved. It really comes down to whose definition you choose.

Visit for a grassroots site that maps where people need service. It's run by RidgeviewTel, which has built 50+ networks in rural communities in three states. Or call 866-992-WNBB to get your need mapped over the phone.

I'd like to see what the We Need Broadband map shows versus the Connect Kentucky map based on what you're writing here.

5:27 PM, April 06, 2009  

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