No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Rural Dane County elites whine for cheap broadband

by @ 12:45 on June 16, 2010. Filed under Business, Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Dad29)

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a story today about some residents in Town of Berry, roughly 20 miles west of Madison, trying to get the Public Service Commission to force TDS Telecom, the local telephone provider, to provide DSL broadband to the southwest corner of town. TDS, which was turned down for “stimulus” broadband funds by the FCC because Dane County isn’t “rural enough”, says that those residents live in an area too sparsely-populated to make a business case to install the necessary equipment.

For megabit-class speeds, DSL subscribers need to be within roughly 2 miles of the DSLAM (which connects the DSL lines to a backbone line, and is either installed at the local telephone exchange or in the case of AT&T’s Milwaukee-area fiber-to-the-neighborhood, a cabinet in the neighborhood), and for any DSL service, there cannot be a load coil (which extends the effective range of voice communications but blocks DSL signals) on the line. Meanwhile, the population density of Berry as a whole in 2000 was 30.2 people per square mile (that’s as detailed as the Census Bureau gets). The roads, which the utility poles travel along, are “not-exactly” straight because of the geography of the area, requiring longer runs and, in many cases, prohibiting running a DSL line down from Highway 19, which has DSL service.

Said geography also plays havoc with some peoples’ attempts to use wireless broadband connections, and the compaintants whine in the linked complaint about both the reliabiltiy and cost of that. They also don’t want to use satellite internet service because they don’t want to pay the going rate for that less-than-reliable service. They further think that access to cheap land-based broadband is a right guaranteed by state statute.

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