Last week I wrote an article about another mega-corporation that starts with “A” that presents a more benevolent public image than they actually behave, but in the case of AT&T, I don’t think anyone mistakes them for a business with a progressive ideology. As a matter of fact, you could say their latest blog as purportedly written by one of their executive VP’s is exactly the opposite with a very conservative view on what America needs in terms of internet speeds. The blog appears to be in response to the Biden administration’s call to define a new baseline for internet broadband at 100mbs for both upload and download speeds as well as proposals from the Administration and Congress to subsidize infrastructure development in under-served geographical and income-challenged populations.
What this means for you
Let’s cut to the chase: AT&T believes that rural America doesn’t need 100Mbs upload speeds. As a matter of fact, according to their blog post [emphasis ours]:
“The pandemic has broadened the consensus opinion that it’s time to revisit the FCC’s current broadband definition of 25/3 Mbps. To be clear, service at that speed is sufficient to support zoom working and remote learning.“Defining BroadbandFor the 21st Century – AT&T Public Policy
To be fair, they do go on later to say that the 25Mbs download speed is less than optimal for a family of four, especially in light of the pandemic. But what they are objecting to is the current Administration’s attempt to redefine the baseline standard of broadband any higher than their current infrastructure can support, and a 100Mbs upload speed is way more than their ancient DSL (top speed of 3Mbs in most areas) networks can handle. They are also objecting to the proposals that would provide billions of dollars in subsidies to competitors, including municipal-backed co-ops and smaller ISPs that would challenge their monopoly (or duopoly if you are lucky) in most broadband markets, including urban and commerce hubs. I’m pretty sure they know that most Americans, given a choice, will absolutely consider other options, especially if they are competitive (and not AT&T), and AT&T hasn’t had to compete in decades in a large part of their market. Hopefully the current administration can push forward some serious upgrades to the nation’s infrastructure that includes establishing a broadband speed standard in every part of the country, breaking the monopolistic inertia that is holding large swaths of our population hostage with 90’s-era technology and speeds.
How can you do something about this? Contact your elected officials and let them know you want faster internet and a choice of providers. This isn’t a partisan issue – everyone should have fast, affordable internet.
Image by kewl from Pixabay