Susan Crawford, a Harvard law professor, has stated, “America led the world in the first generation of Internet Application development, but it won’t lead the second.” This is a big claim from a big name in the Internet technology world.
But that claim is not unfounded. The United States ranks at a meager 31st place out of 34 developed countries in internet affordability. This is just behind countries like Poland and Slovakia.
The exception is found in a fairly bizarre place – Chattanooga, Tennessee. City leaders of Chattanooga have merged with EPB fiber optics to create an affordable, city-subsidized internet connection plan under a company called “The Gig.” This merge has created jobs, launched new companies, and geared up innovation.
Dr. Jim Busch, a radiologist that moved from Boston to Chattanooga, states that his move hinged on “The Gig.” With all of the digital files that his line of work requires, he went from paying near $15,000 a month, to only several hundred dollars a month. His business not only has thrived under the relieved financial strain, but also probably would have dissipated all together if he had stayed in Boston, Massachusetts.
“The Gig” keeps costs down because in other American cities, there are huge limitations due to the scarcity of bandwidth. The infrastructure provided by “The Gig” can therefore be much cheaper because more people can use it.
The FCC treats internet access like a luxury product, rather than the utility that it’s become in our internet-driven business age. And until that attitude changes, regulations will remain high and the U.S. will remain at the bottom of the pack for internet affordability.
To stay up to date with regulations and shifts in the fiber optic world, contact Connected Fiber today. We’re happy to help.