Government-backed broadband plan unpopular

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#1
Many Americans don't want government to push fast Internet | Reuters

From the article:

..."In a national phone survey of 2,252 adults, Pew researchers asked if expanding affordable broadband access to everyone in the country should be a top priority for the federal government." ...


..."The Pew survey, which was conducted between April 29 and May 30, found that:

* 26 percent say that expansion of affordable broadband access should not be attempted by government

* 27 percent said it was "not too important" a priority

* 30 percent said it was an important priority

* 11 percent said it should be a top priority" ...
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#2
I don't think this is even only a matter of lack of personal need or lack of personal understanding of the impact. Folks know that when the government gets involved, either business suffers, or taxpayers pay, or both. I think half this country, at least, is sick and tired of having to pay for other people to have things. The prevailing sentiment in this country, for good or ill, is that people who want the advantages of living in the city (such as ready-access to lots of choices for access to the Internet) should live in the city, etc.
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#3
The prevailing sentiment in this country, for good or ill, is that people who want the advantages of living in the city (such as ready-access to lots of choices for access to the Internet) should live in the city, etc.
Lots of choices? How about any choices?

It's easy to say "move to the city" when you already live there, but when your property value is 1/5 what it would be in the city and there are no jobs, it's not really feasible.

Was rural electrification a similarly bad idea?

- Trip
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#4
The first Pew poll done for the FCC in 2009 was part of the core for the current Broadband Plan already adopted by the FCC. The current plan tries to address why people didn't accept broadband and it is not all about lack of access, here is what part of the plan is made to address.
“Barriers to Adoption and Utilization
The 35% of adults who do not use broadband at home generally are older, poorer, less educated, more likely to be a racial or ethnic minority, and more likely to have a disability than those with a broadband Internet connection at home. The FCC survey identified three major barriers that keep non-adopters from getting broadband:
Cost. When prompted for the main reason they do not have broadband, 36% of non-adopters cite cost. Almost 24% of non-adopters indicate reasons related to the cost of service—15% point to the monthly service cost, and 9% say they do not want the financial commitment of a long-term service contract or find the installation fee too high. For 10% of non-adopters, the cost of a computer is the primary barrier. The additional 2% cite a combination of cost issues as the main reason they do not adopt.· 7_ednref7
Digital Literacy. About 22% of non-adopters cite a digital literacy-related factor as their main barrier. This group includes those who are uncomfortable using computers and those who are “worried about all the bad things that can happen if [they] use the Internet.”· 8_ednref8
Relevance. Some 19% of non-adopters say they do not think digital content delivered over broadband is compelling enough to justify getting broadband service. Many do not view broadband as a means to access content they find important or necessary for activities they want to pursue. Others seem satisfied with offline alternatives. These non-adopters say, for instance, the Internet is a “waste of time.”· 9_ednref9”


The whole plan is currently online, here is the part dealing with this aspect and what is in the plan to overcome these barriers.
National Broadband Plan - Chapter 9: Adoption and Utilization
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#5
It's easy to say "move to the city" when you already live there, but when your property value is 1/5 what it would be in the city and there are no jobs, it's not really feasible.
I suspect most folks are simply concerned about what it will cost them, personally, to extend broadband out to rural areas, rather than whether or not it is feasible for folks who live in rural areas to improve their own situation. The prevailing sentiment in the country, now, is "enough is enough" with regard to new subsidies that benefit other people. People feel that things have gone too far, and that it is way past time to shut the door on government hand-outs.

And it isn't just the Tea Party movement - while the Tea Party movement itself is losing its hold, the underlying sentiment that drove so many Americans to support a movement "like that" still endures - people are just looking for another direction for that sentiment. This is going to come back down to Ronald Reagan versus Walter Mondale situation. Mondale talked honestly about doing "the right thing", including raising taxes to pay for important things like health and security and education. Reagan, by comparison, talked to people's hearts, and promised them he'd work to keep spending down and thereby keep their taxes down. It doesn't matter who was right or wrong in that situation: Reagan won. We're in the same situation now as we were then, with regard to the sentiment of the American people: The side that says, "let's spend more public money to make things better for someone else" (or worse, "let's surcharge you so we can direct that money to making things better for someone else") is going to lose.

Was rural electrification a similarly bad idea?
Again, I think people simply don't care about that sort of thing, at least not anymore. Heck we're talking about teevee and the web - people don't even care about helping other people secure truly important things like health care, and secure shelter, and decent education for their children, etc. Heck, we have an alarmingly high number of people, these days, who are looking for ways to reverse citizenship granted to large groups of people, in an effort to legitimize "sending them 'home'". Just look at the way the wind is blowing... it isn't blowing the way you'd like, I assure you.

If we can get the wind to start blowing back in the other direction, then teevee and the web are still pretty far down on the list of priorities. Health care. Education. Infrastructure (roads and bridges). These are the first things that need the benefits of such a change in the direction of the wind.
 
Last edited:
Top