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Columbia Journalism Review Weighs in, from Iowa, About the Increasing Digital Divide

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BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The journalism publication CJR weighs into the below-the-radar-battle over rural broadband, highlighting the now-here prospect of a gaping digital divide between the urban and the rural areas of our country.

Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide, from CJR.org

Ahead of the November 6 elections, CJR invited writers to spotlight stories that deserve closer scrutiny, in their states and beyond, before voters cast their ballots. Read other dispatches from “States of the Union” here.

The last time I almost died was in February. A late winter thaw had made me overconfident in the roads, and so I’d gone out in search of an abandoned pioneer church just outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. One hour into the journey and I was stuck on a dirt road, my Mazda caught in an icy rut as sleet came down in sheets. There was no one around for miles. My phone, which has the fanciest data plan Verizon can muster, had no service, no data. I couldn’t see any houses. There was no one to hear me scream.

According to US News and World Report, Iowa is the most connected state in the nation, which presumably means they have a high percentage of households with access to high-speed internet. But the data used for that analysis is deeply flawed. It is easy to find yourself completely unconnected from the wires and signals that pull us all together through our computers and mobile devices.

For those of us in America who are extremely online, it’s easy to think of the internet as the source of our problems—misinformation, Twitter bots, Russian hacking, social media stress. The real source, however, is the huge gap in information services. Despite bipartisan support on the issue, the crisis of America’s digital divide has failed to become a headline grabber or garner any real action from politicians as midterms approach. This information disparity undermines our democracy, hampers how we do journalism, and shapes how Americans interact with the news.

[more…]

Source: Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide – Columbia Journalism Review

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney at The CommLaw Group. He has closely tracked the trends in and mechanics of digital infrastructure for 20 years, and has helped fiber-based and fixed wireless providers navigate coverage, identify markets, broker infrastructure, and operate in the public right of way. The articles and posts on Broadband Breakfast and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed, are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

Broadband Roundup

Infrastructure Bill Gets Agreement, Fiber Connect Wraps Up, Washington Community Broadband

White House announced infrastructure bill to include $65B, Fiber Connect 2021 wraps up, Washington State community broadband bill becomes law.

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BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The journalism publication CJR weighs into the below-the-radar-battle over rural broadband, highlighting the now-here prospect of a gaping digital divide between the urban and the rural areas of our country.

Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide, from CJR.org

Ahead of the November 6 elections, CJR invited writers to spotlight stories that deserve closer scrutiny, in their states and beyond, before voters cast their ballots. Read other dispatches from “States of the Union” here.

The last time I almost died was in February. A late winter thaw had made me overconfident in the roads, and so I’d gone out in search of an abandoned pioneer church just outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. One hour into the journey and I was stuck on a dirt road, my Mazda caught in an icy rut as sleet came down in sheets. There was no one around for miles. My phone, which has the fanciest data plan Verizon can muster, had no service, no data. I couldn’t see any houses. There was no one to hear me scream.

According to US News and World Report, Iowa is the most connected state in the nation, which presumably means they have a high percentage of households with access to high-speed internet. But the data used for that analysis is deeply flawed. It is easy to find yourself completely unconnected from the wires and signals that pull us all together through our computers and mobile devices.

For those of us in America who are extremely online, it’s easy to think of the internet as the source of our problems—misinformation, Twitter bots, Russian hacking, social media stress. The real source, however, is the huge gap in information services. Despite bipartisan support on the issue, the crisis of America’s digital divide has failed to become a headline grabber or garner any real action from politicians as midterms approach. This information disparity undermines our democracy, hampers how we do journalism, and shapes how Americans interact with the news.

[more…]

Source: Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide – Columbia Journalism Review

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Broadband Roundup

FCC Says 4M on Emergency Broadband Benefit, Ritter Puts $12M in Arkansas, New STL Cabling Product

$3.2-billion program has 4 million households, Ritter to connect 100% in river valley, STL efficient cables.

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Ritter Communications CEO Alan Morse, left.

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The journalism publication CJR weighs into the below-the-radar-battle over rural broadband, highlighting the now-here prospect of a gaping digital divide between the urban and the rural areas of our country.

Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide, from CJR.org

Ahead of the November 6 elections, CJR invited writers to spotlight stories that deserve closer scrutiny, in their states and beyond, before voters cast their ballots. Read other dispatches from “States of the Union” here.

The last time I almost died was in February. A late winter thaw had made me overconfident in the roads, and so I’d gone out in search of an abandoned pioneer church just outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. One hour into the journey and I was stuck on a dirt road, my Mazda caught in an icy rut as sleet came down in sheets. There was no one around for miles. My phone, which has the fanciest data plan Verizon can muster, had no service, no data. I couldn’t see any houses. There was no one to hear me scream.

According to US News and World Report, Iowa is the most connected state in the nation, which presumably means they have a high percentage of households with access to high-speed internet. But the data used for that analysis is deeply flawed. It is easy to find yourself completely unconnected from the wires and signals that pull us all together through our computers and mobile devices.

For those of us in America who are extremely online, it’s easy to think of the internet as the source of our problems—misinformation, Twitter bots, Russian hacking, social media stress. The real source, however, is the huge gap in information services. Despite bipartisan support on the issue, the crisis of America’s digital divide has failed to become a headline grabber or garner any real action from politicians as midterms approach. This information disparity undermines our democracy, hampers how we do journalism, and shapes how Americans interact with the news.

[more…]

Source: Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide – Columbia Journalism Review

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

New York Drops $15 Internet, Lumen Gets Army Contract, Illinois Signs Telehealth Bill

New York drops $15 internet after interim court decision, Lumen gets army contract for broadband, Illinois allows telehealth for all.

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BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The journalism publication CJR weighs into the below-the-radar-battle over rural broadband, highlighting the now-here prospect of a gaping digital divide between the urban and the rural areas of our country.

Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide, from CJR.org

Ahead of the November 6 elections, CJR invited writers to spotlight stories that deserve closer scrutiny, in their states and beyond, before voters cast their ballots. Read other dispatches from “States of the Union” here.

The last time I almost died was in February. A late winter thaw had made me overconfident in the roads, and so I’d gone out in search of an abandoned pioneer church just outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. One hour into the journey and I was stuck on a dirt road, my Mazda caught in an icy rut as sleet came down in sheets. There was no one around for miles. My phone, which has the fanciest data plan Verizon can muster, had no service, no data. I couldn’t see any houses. There was no one to hear me scream.

According to US News and World Report, Iowa is the most connected state in the nation, which presumably means they have a high percentage of households with access to high-speed internet. But the data used for that analysis is deeply flawed. It is easy to find yourself completely unconnected from the wires and signals that pull us all together through our computers and mobile devices.

For those of us in America who are extremely online, it’s easy to think of the internet as the source of our problems—misinformation, Twitter bots, Russian hacking, social media stress. The real source, however, is the huge gap in information services. Despite bipartisan support on the issue, the crisis of America’s digital divide has failed to become a headline grabber or garner any real action from politicians as midterms approach. This information disparity undermines our democracy, hampers how we do journalism, and shapes how Americans interact with the news.

[more…]

Source: Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide – Columbia Journalism Review

Continue Reading

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