Living Last Mile

I apologize for any cursing I do, this is an issue I fight with daily, and it’s a ridiculous one.

I live in semi-rural WV, but I also live without adequate access to information, at a nominal rate. In order to get an internet connection, where I live it costs roughly $50 on top of a phone bill for 768kbps ADSL. There is also no means of getting television, besides paying for satellite service, which also doesn’t come with local channels f or some absurd reason. Ever since the Analog-to-Digital transition in June ’09, the reception which is known to be bad in mountainous areas, dropped completely off the map, because it became an all or nothing signal.

What you end up with is exorbitant costs for minimal service, even though people within a mile, have no such issues; cable is provided along the main road on the backside of the property, but it’s about 3/10th’s of a mile. Currently, the two bills are $80 for TV, for mid-range satellite service, that isn’t 2/3 Christian broadcast, receiver rental, and 2 broadcast station feeds, that should be locally provided, and $65 for Phone & Internet. It pisses me off to know that just because we live just outside, the service area of the cable companies, we are charged out the ass.

If our house was moved less than half a mile, we would have a more stable internet connection that is 10x as fast, basic enough tv with local stations, we really only need broadcast stations. For about half the price. This needs to be addressed, as well as anti-competitiveness in areas, companies trade off in areas and create virtual monopolies on local markets. I’m just frustrated at how close, and yet how far the access to information is, and I also know that I’m not the only one in the area that feels this way.

Our nation, has turned its back on those that live last mile, and the infrastructure required to provide its citizens decent access to information. We are solidly driving forward, in improvements, but those improvements are generally within the large metro areas, where they see maybe a 2x increase ever 3-4 years, while those living last mile slip further behind. I understand it’s not feasible for the companies to create the infrastructure, that they won’t see a return on any time soon, but there has to be a way to improve our nations information infrastructure(IPv6 should be included).

Super WiFi is probably the only decent technology for this area, considering everyone is stretched rather thin, the infrastructure costs would be lower, but that’s not a likely roll-out option for at least 4-5 years, if not a decade. That’s how slow progress is, when you’re living last mile. It’s infuriating to see improvements so close, and simultaneously know that it will be held right in front of your face, but out of your grasp.