Broadband for All

 

Economic development requires availability of fiber optic cable to every home and business in the county. I have been working with Internet Freedom for McHenry County to make this a reality. I will be a strong advocate on the board for the creation of a community owned cooperative, a model that has demonstrated success around the country. 

David Gutowski, Director of Internet Freedom for McHenry County, and I have gone out of state to learn more about successful implementation of the cooperative model approach for making fiber optic service to rural areas. Not only will fiber optic broadband attract business, but it will also improve educational opportunity for children who currently are disadvantaged by limited access to high-speed internet.

Consider the following points borrowed from the Internet Freedom for McHenry County Media Kit which includes source citations for the statistics listed below. This is an important quality of life issue for McHenry County.

Quick Facts

  1. At least 39% of Americans cannot purchase the very basic levels of speed defined by the FCC as “basic broadband” (25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload). 

  2. At least 39% of Rural areas have no service at all while 51% of all Americans have a single provider to choose from. 

  3. Most of McHenry County has roughly two providers with the same speeds and costs offered using a “prevailing rate” model for higher charges over the term of the contract. 

  4. One industry report measured consumer satisfaction for ISPs with an average score of 64 out of a possible 100 points ranking them as the worst across various industries. 

  5. While consumer satisfaction fell, profits grew significantly for ISPs like Comcast andAT&T.  

  6. Billions in fees, deregulations, and state and federal subsidies benefit CenturyLink, Comcast, AT&T, yet they still are not providing broadband in many areas. 

  7. Market analysts at Pricewaterhouse  Coopers predict that cable and telecom giants will continue consolidation and vertical market integration efforts to balance projected losses in subscriptions, making the situation worse. 

  8. Nearly 33% of Americans without Internet access cite the cost of service as the primary barrier.

  9. Community-owned fiber networks offered prices that are clear and consistent over time while Internet Service Providers typically charge initial low promotional or “teaser” rates that rise after an introductory period.

  10. The United States ranks 25th in the world for total broadband and fiber connections while American businesses pay more for median connection speeds overall, the ranking is worse for American families. 

  11. Municipalities around the world realize greater efficiency and savings through e-government services. 

  12. Just 4 out of every 100 subscribers in the U.S. receive 1,000 Mbps service, falling to behind sixteen countries such as France, Korea, Iceland, Belgium, Ireland, Hungary and Estonia. 

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