JWN readers might recall my laments from years past about the great digital divide in America, between those who have DSL or some form of real broadband and those who don’t. Even made for a sardonic April Fool’s post two year’s ago.
That was then. Today, I got it at last. After years of being ignored, of watching promises of DSL, BPL (power line), microwave, wireless, or cable broadband alternatives go unfulfilled, at last my soon to be taken-over phone company, Embarq, delivered DSL, albeit the “extended reach version.”
Ok, the “dsl” version I got is half or less what most have, barely 750 kbps delivery, and they’re charging me more for it than friends down the street with regular DSL. But it sure beats that expensive, slow, and unreliable Satellite “service” from “Wildblue.” No longer will I have to worry about heavy rains in south Texas causing outages here in Virginia. No more miserly “fair use” constraints on use and crawl speed punishments for “violations” lasting weeks. No more sluggishness blamed on too many people using the satellite at the same time. No more miserable dark-ages billing through Nelson Cable. No more waiting for our electric coop, CVEC, to deliver the BPL.
Free at last, thank God almighty, I’ve got DSL.
For my friends still on the other side of the digital divide, I’ll keep “praying” for you — that it might yet occur to the free-market diehards here in Virginia that economic stimulus might really mean investing in expanding the broadband backbones to service all of the people, not just those better “connected” to local power centers, or within range of arbitrarily placed dsl “switches.” (There is hope, word is out that even IBM — big blue — is now behind BPL technology — no fooling.)
We have the technology, we can build it… if only we have the will to think outside the categories.