Most people cherry pick from Reagan's inaugural address, but the full paragraph where he cites government as the problem reads, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price."
First, note that he was referring to the "present crisis," which was a period of high inflation. But note how he, a free-market advocate, ends this paragraph: "in and out of government, must bear the burden," and "no one group singled out to pay a higher price." Even Reagan recognized that we need to work together, via our government, to solve problems.
Corporations exist to make a profit. They will not build the rural broadband infrastructure on their own, unless they can charge more for such service. Our government needs to step up and regulate the equal treatment of all citizens. That is one of the primary functions of our government.
When I moved to rural southern Ohio in 2008 all I could get was dial up. My computer was so new it didn't have a place to hardwire dial up and had to buy a converter for it. After years of checking with AT&T they finally said broadband was available. They promised fast internet but they lied and I'm certain there was a class action suit they settled out of court. I still have my slow internet speed and too many hours on youtube or picture up and downloads will slow it down to a stall, there is nothing much I can do about it but wait for them to put Uverse down our street. I've had three service reps at my house to correct the stalled service over the past couple of months with nothing much they can do about my connection problems. My means of paying bills is using my sister's satellite internet. That is what I miss most is having a secure place to do my banking and shopping. A kid who likes to play games would be very unhappy at my house.
The problem is not just people who live in the boonies. I live in an unincorporated area in Northern California, just one mile outside city limits. Housing density is ~100 homes on a two-mile stretch of road. But no cable, and AT&T landline will not support DSL. So we're stuck with satellite, cell, or a couple of local companies that provide 8/2 Mbps down/up for $80/mo. using a WiFi technology. The AT&T connection box is at the end of my driveway. The techs are there often. They refer to my area as the "Bermuda Triangle."
The communications giants have stated their intent to bring broadband to everyone, but they use a loophole to fulfill their promise. Apparently, when any one residence in a voting precinct has broadband available, they can say that everyone in the precinct has it.
Meanwhile, I know of a tiny village in New Mexico (~100 residents) that is out in the boonies and gets fiber to each house. The installation was subsidized by a grant from the Obama administration. My neighbors are stuck in the all-too-common "doughnut hole" --- we're too affluent for grants, but not affluent enough to bring in a good profit.
Comcast charges $65/mo. for unlimited data at 55Mbps. The farmer at the end of the road needs to conduct business, much of which can be done over a good, broadband internet service. In 2015 the FCC redefined broadband to be 25/3 Mbps down/up, compared to the 4/1 speeds of 2010. Satellite internet is not broadband, and the inherent latency makes real-time communications (e.g., Skype) very ugly.
Actually satellite internet is OK. I use HughesNet. I get 50 GB a month at 15 Mb/s for $80 a month. That's enough for an hour of cat videos a day and all the left wing web sites you can stand to visit. My wife was able to do the online classes to get her nursing license.
We are now finding out that readily available rural electric and roads allowed Americans to populate the countryside and become reliant on cars and oil. It may be better to force people to live in compact villages with good services and public transportation and only have farm roads that the farmers use to travel to their fields.
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