Letters to the editor
December 18, 2007
Carson should mandate high-speed Internet access
U.S. 395 isn’t the only behind-the-times freeway in Carson City. Our access to the Information Super Highway is also sorely ignored by our elected officials. I have written our local, state and federal officials about this neglect and was greeted with apathy. Perhaps the problem is best stated by the New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer:
“It is as critical to the next-century economy as the Erie Canal (or in Carson City’s case the V&T Railroad) was the last,” he said. “It is how information flows, and we are living in an economy where information is the commodity that matters and it is necessary that everyone is wired.” When the average kid in South Korea has better access to broadband than the average kid in New York state (Carson too), he said, “something is wrong.”
The reality is that Carson City allows its monopoly communication providers, SBC (rebranded as AT&T) and Charter Cable, to “redline” and “cherry pick” their service areas. This practice results in both the poor and those whose houses are more expensive to connect being underserved. The reality is that residents in California have Internet access that is up to eight times as fast as we do in Carson for the same price. In an even more cruel development, AT&T recently upped the price of their dial-up service to $25 per month. This is $10 more than their basic DSL service that is unavailable to many residents of Carson City. This burden falls especially hard on the poor and elderly.
High-speed Internet is no longer a luxury, as Spitzer states.
Not only is it important for the economic vitality of the community and our children’s educations, but Internet connectivity is becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives. It is almost mandatory to bank, pay your bills, make airline reservations, receive medical care, share photos with loved ones, and conduct myriad other functions of everyday life.
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It is time for Carson to abandon its motto of “Yesterday’s technology, tomorrow.” I believe the adoption of a city policy requiring high-speed access for all would significantly lessen the city’s economic woes. A responsibility of government is to provide equal service to all regardless of their means. Furthermore, we can bribe all the businesses we want to open stores here, but if no one lives, works, and shops here, nothing will change. Carson City needs to attract customers by providing good neighborhoods, good jobs, and good services. Businesses will follow on their own.
51 percent is not a convincing margin
Freedom to do as you’re told via a 51 percent vote is not freedom. I see it as socially programmed bigotry in motion. With that said, wouldn’t it be great if the removal of any American freedom be afforded the same requirements that it takes to amend our country’s Constitution to remove or add a freedom, as in a two-thirds vote ? Why? Because I personally have a major problem with 51 percent of the American people being able to force the other 49 percent to submit to their way of thinking.
However, I could tolerate a 66 percent or higher yea or nay vote as final for the removal of any freedom, but anything less I see as bigotry in motion and as belittling the true meaning of liberty in the most disrespectful and irresponsible of ways.
The current 51 percent formula states use to approve or disapprove of a freedom causes more harm then good, because the current formula aids in dividing this country versus uniting it like a 66 percent formula would do. The 51 percent formula promotes bigotry, animosity, dissent and strong divisions among the people of this country, none of which are good character-building qualities for any state or nation.
Anyway, freedom is not an issue to be left wide open for the politically motivated definitions of one fickle and bigoted generation to the next.
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