Thursday, May 5, 2011

The digital divide is about to widen

An Open Letter to AT&T

I'm furious. Last night as I read the Chicago Tribune (yes, I still like to read the newspaper) I noticed a little blurb that caught my eye.  "AT&T to cap broadband usage." Really? Yes, really.  AT&T in their greedy infinite wisdom has decided to cap monthly broadband usage for DSL subscribers to 150 GB of data (UVerse users get an extra 100 GB).  Every 50 GB you go over is another $10 tacked onto your bill.

Hey AT&T get with the times! Information is ubiquitous thanks to the information superhighway.  People rely on this to not only gather information, but to disseminate it as well. We have enough people in this country who cannot even tap the power of the internet and now your going to control how much access those of us who can afford it are able to get? How about you deliver what you promise in the way of what I already pay for your services?  When I was at 1.5 DSL, my service rarely provided me above the 1 Mb range.  So, I ponied up and jumped to 3 Mb so I could harness the power of the internet a little better and I'm getting speeds in the 2.2 range.  Before you start limiting access, maybe you should get your act together.

Better yet, I issue a challenge to those who have the ability to do this (including myself) - contact your neighbors and build a wireless mesh in your neighborhood.  If you walk up and down the block, you are likely to find that many of your neighbors have an access point set up.  This indicates they are paying for their own internet access (and probably low end access at that).  If one person agrees to subscribe to high end service (as long as everyone chips in) you could easily throw a wireless cloud over your entire block for a fraction of the cost you are paying now! End the information monopoly!
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