The Same Old Song

I have so many ways I can take the issue of net neutrality that I have no idea where to start. So, I will talk about how I used the internet at my parents house. Essentially, only dialup was available in Warrensburg Illinois. I heard even today a local finance manager for Comcast lives in Warrensburg and cannot settle on a cable provider. The last time I did a search I could not find any cable companies that would claim Warrensburg.  Warrensburg has had a rocky relationship with them. When we moved to Illinois it had a very shoddy cable company that the village board ousted their contract with. Then, the next one got ousted, then it had Cebridge connections which is not longer there.

Basically, Warrensburg is now a satellite tv town. Verizon recently gave up landline territory that included Warrensburg. They remain the best coverage for cell phones to date and that is two bars walking down the street in some area. Recently, I’ve used my Verizon phone’s internet for connection, but I am limited by data plan and I like to have a full desktop computer or a laptop/netbook/tablet with a separate keyboard.  I tried to approach our new provider (landline company that replaced Verizon) when they began to send us: “connect with our DSL” advertisements, and after feeding them an address (, no commercial business and the post office outside of warrensburg will accept our regular street address, but that is another story in itself,) they happily reported: we don’t have service in your area “yet” although this “yet” is now few years later still and maybe they have it or not. At the time they then offered me their wireless service, but the kicker is, I used to live in Decatur, IL and had Comcast. There I paid 40.00 (landlord paid for basic cable so was able to secure a discount of instead of about 50 dollars I paid a dollar less). At the time, Insight Communications was the cable provider that just got bought out by Comcast. Then, the lawsuit came from the FCC on net neutrality about the time and I didn’t notice a difference (and that is sad but the company I worked for had, ungodly faster in comparison, T1 so surfing was far faster there).  The speed was increased to 10mbps average download speed.

I started on a project to create a WISP (wireless internet service provider) based in Warrensburg with business plans to offer rural internet to other towns, then across the state and then across the country. I contacted a regional provider to contract bandwidth, data lines, for the internet from. I believe the quote was in the $100K to run communication lines to Warrensburg (it may have been less or more its been more than four years and I forget). So, lack of startup funds (did you know Illinois has an all-encompassing telecommunications tax, even on small startup telecommunications companies), help, drive, interest, and naysayers (only one friend with no disposable income really interested) kicked the project from gaining any traction.

I moved back to Warrensburg because of career hardships and found that if I wanted 1mbps I would have to pay $50.00 on the average to a satellite or wireless provider, pay a butt load more on equipment and installation (one can buy cable/dsl modems easier at say Walmart than satellite modems), and had to sign a shiny 2 year contract with penalties for cancellation. Recently, I think the contracts are far lesser, such as one year, but I haven’t researched it for a while as I gave up. My parents owned the house and did not want to allow the extra equipment installed on the side of their house (wireless antenna beamed off the grain elevator, or another satellite dish) but especially because I don’t know whether I’ll be there in two years. So, I certainly do not expect companies to keep this up for free because of the fact they love to advertise for services unavailable in my area. This is not new to me with my personal history discussed above.

I live on campus and get internet included in my education package.  That was one of the reasons I decided to live on campus rather than commute.

So, when I get asked “What’s your breaking point where I will unplug due to net neutrality”, I laugh. I would likely get dialup for 10.98 a month (yes dialup is still available) and peruse websites with a text only browser (as I am a professional writer by occupation and that is pictures via text and not text via pictures).  Data transmission of plain text is pretty darn quick on the backbone POTS (plain old telephone service) because that was what is made in mind of. So, I am willing to put up with a lot to do just the basics. With the web favoring videos more than ever, POTS is even slower and harder to get information with.

I might be willing to accept net neutrality standards, but not as a boxed product. I mean, net neutrality standards as a packaged deal. Comcast has been trying to package phone, TV, and internet for years. Direct TV usually has something similar but has different providers handle that. Then again, maybe Google will come to Warrensburg before Comcast (https://fiber.google.com/about/). But, Google though did not fight Net Neturality this time.

I’ve felt I’ve been bullied, falsely advertised to, and dangled a carrot many times by the Broadband Internet Service Providers and major companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. They may work in larger metropolitan areas, and from a business standpoint have more potential for making money off of their customer base. So, if worse comes to worse, I’ll go to my library and surf for an hour for free when I need to. They’ve upgraded to a faster internet connection from ISDN a few years ago.

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