The Conclusion of the First Electrum Internet Series Focusing on “The FCC and Congress: From Plans to Fruition”

Hurdles of Bringing The U.S. into the First Place Ranking

What plans are in place to bring the purposed upgrades Nationwide to fruition.

In the final article for this series we’re going to delve deep into the measures that Congress is working on. Measures geared towards ensuring that the FCC and ISP companies have what is needed to move forward in the name of progress. Progress that begins with the upgrading of internet and nationwide access. One of the major issues with advancing internet speeds nationwide is that it is a massive financial undertaking. There simply isn’t the necessary funding available that is needed to make these advancements in a timely manner. By the time additional funding becomes available the technology has advanced yet again. These advances are often leaps beyond what they were upgrading the current measures too. And thus ensues a technology version of cat and mouse. 

The second of the major issues is building an infrastructure that would withstand the test of time. Thus, so that the issue of funding isn’t leaving the U.S. in a constant stage of varying degrees of progress. It would allow for the increase in volume of users, meeting varying needs and purposes of all the users. And to progress with technology rather than become obsolete. Congress currently has programs addressing the funding issue that they are working on. Should they be secured it would mean that ISP’s nationwide would be able to make the necessary upgrades to increase the speed while the FCC creates a continually progressing infrastructure. The FCC and Congress have the option to bridge the gap or replace it with a Speed Chasm. 

Bridge vs Speed Chasm

In the article published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation Peter Rubin went on to explain: “the massive discrepancy of potential capacity reachable by fiber optics as compared to copper, cable, and wireless networks as the “speed chasm.” Essentially, fiber optics have capacity potential that leaves other legacy networks like copper and coaxial cable in the dust. While we do not know the exact difference, what we do know is fiber has a capacity that is orders of magnitude greater than legacy efforts.” 

Congress has the option of making changes that will improve access for all people or maintaining mediocre access. However, the focus on upgrades will take more funding up front and longer times for these changes to spread nationwide; whereas keeping mediocre accesses maintained would lessen the financial burden on the up front end. However, in the overall spectrum of things, if you maintain mediocre you end up spending more in the long run and without improving anything. It impacts more people for a longer timespan in the long run but if society can grant the forces that be the necessary patience needed to be able to secure funding and make the needed upgrades then all of society will benefit. 

Breakdown Of The Mathematics On A Smaller Scale Than The Millions Of Dollars That Congress Deals With

The mathematics is quite simple. Its like buying an affordable pair of shoes at a mediocre store for $20-30 dollars and having to replace those shoes every two to three months vs going to a shoe store and spending say $100-150 on a pair of shoes that is going to last 4-5 years. Yes, the upfront cost is massive increase that detours a lot of consumers from making the smart purchase. Whereas the lower end of the spectrum that requires relatively low investment up front actually ends up costing a consumer anywhere from $80-180 per year. Then when you consider that a decent pair of shoes could last four to five years that is a savings between $320-900; depending if they replace those mediocre shoes every two months or every three months and depending if those good quality shoes would last the user four or five years.

As one can see, it is better to spend the $100-150 up front and have it last four or five years rather than to spend pennies (in comparison) every couple of months. That is the dilemma that Congress is faced with but in regards to millions of dollars. Congress hears the needs of the American public and wants to rectify it. It takes the cooperation of the American public though. Congress finds themselves continually in a tug-of-war between trying to make these upgrades and balancing maintaining peace amongst the people.  

Balancing The Public’s Need With Congress’s. Abilities To Fulfill

With all these options and weighing the pros and cons of each, with the constantly changing face of technology, and with the supply and demand of the American people influencing factors Congress is caught in the middle of making some of the most weighty decisions that will impact everyone from those poorest community to the most populated cities of America. The internet divide is something that impacts us all to some level and degree. 

Intro into Series Two: Funding Nationwide Upgrades

In the next series we will be focusing on the different programs created to allocate funding for the improvement of internet capabilities and access to those capabilities nationwide. The July series is going to be filled with articles that take an individual look at each of these programs and by the end will highlight the lengths to which Congress is going to. I, and Electrum Internet hope that you will continue to follow the second series of blogs that will consist of ten articles for the July Series.

Part 6 of 6 Re: FCC; Congresses Role; and what this means for the future of the internet, internet services (availability and options) and service providers; the changing face of technology.

Written By: Crystal Lori-Ann Winkelman (June 2019)

References and further reading material…..

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/05/congress-can-end-digital-divide-or-replace-it-speed-chasm-its-broadband

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About the Author: Crystal Lori-Ann Winkelman

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