Suburban Broadband?

The future of Broadband is in Suburbia, says Washington Post. Not surprising, given that most of the big phone companies are devoting their FTT-X resources to new developments, also know as greenfield projects. The article highlights Brambleton, a suburb somewhere near Dulles Airport, and is a test pilot for Verizon. The internet service and cable TV service is included in the homeowner association fees of approximately $230 a month. The community also has wireless hotspots in and around common areas such as the swimming pool. Verizon is focusing heavily on Washington’s suburbs, including Falls Church and Leesburg in Northern Virginia and parts of Montgomery County in Maryland. Naysayers think that this focus on suburbia is going to create broadband haves and have-nots.

Gene Kimmelman, director of the Washington office of Consumers Union, said most all-inclusive packages of television, telephone and Internet cost more than $100 a month, a total that is beyond the means of many. “There is a new digital divide. In a world where it is important to have a speedy connection to the Internet, 40 percent of the nation doesn’t have access and is falling behind,” Kimmelman said.

Just like flight from urban areas led to the slow lingering death of the downtown, could we see the the slow death of urban broadband. We know that the phone companies hate to spend any money on rural areas, and if they had it their way, they will pick and choose where they want to sell their service. Oh! Don’t count on any help from FCC, also known as Fully Compromised Committee.

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