I don’t want to say we don’t have broadband —Andrea Schruijer @ VLCIA 2013-02-19

Unfortunately, Andrea Schruijer made clear that much of what had just been said at the the Industrial Authority 19 February 2013 hadn’t been heard.

It’s not that we’re saying we don’t have broadband. We have connectivity; that’s not the issue. We have great partners that help us with that.

Well, local “leaders” need to learn to say it: “we don’t have broadband!” Many of the people of Lowndes County and even more in the surrounding counties can’t afford Internet access at all, as Idelle Dear told the Lowndes County Commission. And the “great partners” Ms. Schruijer bragged about will never provide it for us without a lot of prodding, because AT&T and Verizon and Sprint and Comcast and Mediacom don’t think anything outside the Atlanta beltway has enough population density to bother with, and even in Atlanta all people get is U.S.-style low-speed low-reliability Internet connectivity that would never even be on sale in Japan or France or Korea or Finland or even Estonia.

Tom Call illustrated my point when he talked about a residential project where a provider installed cable and claimed they were providing voice, TV, and Internet access, but then didn’t actually have the capacity for Internet when people started using it.

I know a nearby subdivision with cable some of whose inhabitants have dropped it entirely in favor of Verizon’s 4G LTE wireless service, because it’s faster and more reliable.

Ms. Schruijer talked about a recent meeting of the South Region Joint Development Authority. They seemed to be mostly interested in a golf tournament. Also they just had a quail hunt. Local and traditional activities, for sure, but where is the video of the quail hunt online on VLCIA’s website? That it’s not there indicates they don’t really understand their sudden emphasis on broadband.

And finally a word from the only person in the room with actual experience in bringing Internet broadband to new areas; see next post.