The Real Views Online – North Central Louisiana's Multicultural Magazine

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Broadband means gain for The Real Views and its readers

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 The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act invested $4 billion in grants to bring broadband internet service to unserved, underserved and rural communities across the nation. Louisiana has received $61 million of this funding.

Readers: 

In today’s information-based society, the ability to connect to the Internet through a high-speed service is critical for  businesses, education and the government. Small businesses are able to compete in the global marketplace when they have access to advanced technology, and also increase their competitive ability in the region. 

Teachers can access greater educational resources and better prepare our children to enter the workforce. Citizens have better access to their government leaders and can more easily participate in civic activities.    

Home broadband connections create virtual neighborhoods that foster a sense of inclusion, enabling us to connect with one another despite distance, or physical or financial barriers. The Internet has become an important place for people to acquire crucial information and become empowered.  

However, broadband technology is not consistently made available to all communities, even in many urban areas. Those who are unserved by broadband technology potentially have the most to gain. As a society, we need to encourage the government and private-public partnerships to eliminate these disparities and extend the benefits of broadband access to all Americans. 

The private sector is investing tens of billions of dollars annually to extend broadband coverage to rural and other unserved parts of the country. However, the Federal Communications Commission is considering regulations that could deter broadband providers from continuing to make such investments. As a result, consumers could see higher costs for broadband service, which will only make it more difficult for some to get online. 

All citizens should have access to opportunities to expand their small businesses, to better educational opportunities for their children and to participate in civic activities. This publication urges the FCC to direct its focus to the goal of universal broadband access before pursuing policies that could stand in the way.  Several local businesses and entities such as the Natchitoches Parish Library (http://www.youseemore.com/natchitoches/) offer wifi, and increasingly, the Natchitoches Parish School Board should promote computer literacy in the curriculum so that Natchitoches’ next generation will close the technology and computer literacy gap that we currently face. 

~The Editors of The Real Views 

Counterpoint:  

An interesting reconsideration of this point, here: http://www.ipbusinessmag.com/departments/article/id/356

We’re inclined to agree with the author’s points to an extent, as he is overagressively dismissive and himself only working from statistical data, which he dismisses early on.  In Natchitoches, our issue isnt so much access (CP-Tel and SuddenLink penetrate much of the city, admittedly, coverage is not as widely available in rural areas, and there are many free wifi spots in town) but the expense, lack of PC ownership, and lack of computer literacy permeate.

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Written by demon53

March 13, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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