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  • FCC may restore Net Neutrality, bring broadband to rural, underserved areas.

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants FCC may restore Net Neutrality, bring broadband to rural, underserved areas.

    • This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
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      • #2348606
        AskWoody Plus

        The FCC may work now towards restoring Net Neutrality and bring broadband to rural and other underserved areas.

        This ZDNet article explains what is in the offing under the now FCC Acting Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel and what are the corresponding possible changes from the previous situation, when Ajit Pai was the FCC Chairman.

        By the very nature of the topic, this is a “tech” issue with inescapable political connotations, as the article makes clear.
        I think that this might interest many here at AskWoody. I do believe that, according to Susan, it is OK to have a thread on a “Tech+some politics” subject. Not being sure where else to start it, I am choosing “Rants” as a possibly adequate forum for it. Otherwise, do advise.


        With the coronavirus raging on, Americans whether they’re working from home or going to school need broadband more than ever. The newly minted FCC chair has been especially harsh about the damage the lack of affordable broadband has done to school kids, which she calls the “homework gap.

        Rosenworcel said, “When I was growing up, homework required nothing more than your siblings leaving you alone, a clear workspace, and a Number 2 pencil. Those days are gone. Not just because the school year is winding down. They are gone because today as many as seven in ten teachers assign homework that requires access to broadband. But data from this Commission suggests one in three households do not subscribe to broadband service.” This is not right.

        “If you want evidence this is not right, it’s all around us, Rosenworcel said in a later statement, “There are people sitting in parking lots using free Wi-Fi signals because they have no other way to get online. There are students who fall in the homework gap because they lack the high-speed service they need to participate in remote learning.”

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2348612

        ? says:

        thank you, Oscar. another worthy idea to consider. i was down in soaz last spring waiting to move mom into an “independent living,” arrangement when the covid iron curtain fell. i was using the wifi in the local library parking lot since the building was locked down tight as per the county library’s published emergency policy. in a short while a contract security person wandered over to my window and instructed me to leave the premises. i retorted that as per library policy i was within my rights to park in the lot and connect to their wifi. then the local police arrived summoned by the contract security person in order to motivate me into move along, to which i complied. i later rang the library’s main office and asked for clarification of the library district’s stated covid policy regarding use of the wifi. needless to say i was able to return to my spot in the shade of the acacia tree and continue enjoying the connection for a few more months until mom was comfortably ensconced in her new domicile. on a semi political note what ever happened to the idea of providing American cities with “free,” wifi? (as i laugh quietly to myself)…

      • #2348640
        AskWoody Plus

        Anonymous: ” ... on a semi political note what ever happened to the idea of providing American cities with “free,” wifi? (as i laugh quietly to myself)…

        Might this answer your question?

        As of 2020, 22 states have laws that deter or even prohibit local governments and communities from establishing their own networks, according to the group Broadband Now. They’re in large part the result of lobbying from commercial providers who argue the laws are necessary to prevent unfair competition. [Angela] Siefer [ executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance] says they continue to restrict communities from connecting everyone in need.

        The article then explains a number of ways in which municipalities, in order to provide wide-band connections to local business and families in areas with poor or no connections, as well as free or affordable ones to those who can’t afford existing ISP charges, have been trying to get around such restrictions and to make the most of what can be done, whether restrictions have been put in place or not, depending on the state they are in.

        This type of initiative is something where the FCC could help and now might be more inclined to do it, in line with the declarations of the acting FCC Chair (see ZDNet article in original comment). We’ll just have to wait and see.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2349189
        AskWoody Lounger

        Feb. 24 I posted a reply to an August 2019 topic by Alex5723. But the post apparently got lost in the site’s indexing kerfluffle and didn’t garner any subsequent comments. Perhaps neutrality isn’t as neutral as the word infers.

      • #2349202

        Haven’t kept up with this issue but I hope Jessica is allowed to stop “Acting” and become the official Chairperson.  She’s always seemed rational and interested in consumers vs. Apple Pie whose mob lawyer meets five year old kid public persona was awful, not to mention his objectives and phony methodoligy.

        Everyone could be given free broadband and still have herk- jerky, fast-slow, laggy connections that make going online frustrating.  We have a 200 mbs service for four of us, more than fast enough for streaming four 4k vids or most anything else we do.  Our lines are never loaded more than about 50% when I’ve checked.

        So, I’ll try to stream a video and can get buffering of some amount, a smooth HD stream, a stream that quits midstream, one that never starts no matter how many times I reload the page or restart the wireless adapter.  You Tube seems to work very well at 1080p and fairly well at 4k.  Many other sites are pointless to try streaming.

        My kids distance learn with Zoom or the Google vid chat thing, depends on the teacher.  Nothing works well, laggy and stuttering with frequent freezes regardless of how low resolution goes.  Often, they submit assignments by using their phones to take a jpg of their  screens then email it to the teacher!  Creative, but really dumb!  Some of this is the dreadful chromebooks they were given; when they use high end laptops, things work better but still not well.

        Cable news networks, which I’d guess have the best equipment available, have the same problem with Zoom and Webex.  Webex!  It’s been around for centuries, should work by now!  It does, the infrastructure stinks.  Getting broadband to everyone is step one; we need to make it work, too, the entire route needs to be fast, not just parts of it.  Users’ devices, routers, etc, every step in the chain has to be at least good enough.

        Nothing new in what I wrote but it’s about time we took off the rose colored glasses, quit bs’ing consumers and actually did something about this country’s crummy internet services.

        So there!  End of rant.  🙂


        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2349248
        AskWoody Plus

        My own experience with streaming, going back months before Net Neutrality was first introduced by the FCC, was that my ISP, Verizon FIOS (a service based on a fiber optics network, with my connection, at the time, running at 25 Mb/s) suddenly started to deliver some of the streamed content with much lower resolution during evening hours. Verizon repeatedly denied they were doing such a thing, but the evidence of my own eyes was quite the opposite. Once some of those content providers (Netflix, for example) agreed to pay more to Verizon for carrying it, that mysteriously stopped and the quality of the streamed programming went back to being as good as it had always been before what, to me at last, looked very much like “throttling.”

        My one concern about NN and the delivery of Internet content to their customers being established as a “common carrier” service (same as the US Postal Service: all the IP packets must be delivered to their destination, come rain or sunshine) is that, going by developments in recent years, the uncontrolled surge in the use of the Internet might soon reach and then exceed, without some kind of “traffic cop” in place, the present and even any future enhanced carrying capacity of the Internet pipes.

        When the FCC terminated NN, a few years ago, the government in the USA essentially placed on the private sector providers the onus of being the de facto traffic “police cops.” The end of NN has not changed the quality of the streaming and reception of other things over the Internet, at least for me, still with Verizon FIOS, but there is no reason that, if push comes to shove, the private providers might have to do so again, this time with greater reason than before, but probably in a higgledy-piggledy and far less than desirable way, if the always increasing amount of traffic eventually forces them to do so.

        So I think it is high time that rationality prevails over politics and the Federal government resumes doing its job on matters such as this already crucial service to the nation and within its actual or potential purview, which I believe is to govern.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

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