On Tue, Mar 01, 2005 at 01:22:00PM -0600, Jon Kerr wrote: > Second, there are parts of Saint Paul that effectively have no DSL option Broadband is not defined as DSL, there are various wireless internet providers in the cities already, as well as you know, that thing called cable. > and thus effectively no competition at the moment. It is hard to talk about > the free market meeting needs in that climate. The pricing is no different in those neighborhoods than it is in any other neighborhood where they do have competition. > Third, there are areas of our community whose needs have never been and > likely never will be met by the free market without some sort of > intervention or special effort. There really is a digital divide in many of > our communities that starts with money (any yes, there really are working > poor and those who are trying their best to find a better lifestyle to whom > even $20 month is significant) "Digital divide" makes me cringe almost as much as "cyclic dependancies", I know plenty of people who: a) Are "poor", but pay for broadband because they need or want it b) Are "rich", and use AOL dialup because it suits their needs, and the needs of their kids just fine c) Choose not to have internet at all, and use the computers at school or the local library (which we are already paying for via taxes) At what point did *broadband* become a necessity? You're advocating the subsidy of a Corvette when a Kia will get them there just as quickly. > And is it unreasonable to hope we can find a > way to create a non-balkanized, comprehensive broadband access system that > lets everyone better appreciate the benefits of technological advances? Along with welfare and social security reform, with a dash of public education reform. There are much better places that such money could be spent where it's needed instead of creating another poorly run cash cow. > To answer "yes" certainly won't mean the end of life. But in my humble > opinion it will mean turning away from a potential improvement of civic and > democratic interactions. And it will mean possibly accepting permanent > technological gulf between have's and have not's that ultimately limits how > far the market can grow - thus limiting everybody's economic and other > opportunities. Since they can't afford $20/mo for MSN DSL, and free dialup (juno, etc) is too slow, will you also be advocating that the city purchase new computers for everyone? The computers that the tcfreenet (only local .org I'm familiar with that hands out computers) gives out are generally not fast enough, nor are they equipped for anything other than dialup.