Letter to the EditorOpinion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Rural Internet Blues

Editor’s Note: This contribution comes from Chris who sent in this piece from The New York Times. And brings up a great story to follow for our area. 

Dear Editor,

This article (click here) from this morning’s New York Times may be of interest.

Although it speaks of rural electric coops and most of the Luther area is served by OG&E there are some areas within the Luther city limits which are on coop power and could benefit from this approach. And who knows – maybe we could put a bee in OG&E’s bonnet? Access to modern hi-speed internet would have a profound impact on any rural area’s future – just as rural electrification did here in the 30’s through the fifties.

Thank you Chris. We’ll look into it with OG&E, and also CREC who serves the “greater” Luther area. We’ll also check-in with our local internet providers.

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4 Comments

  1. We are in agreement with Chris. We are very limited with the internet we have in the Luther area which can also limit what businesses as well as residential can do with certain software. Our shop in Jones, has a much better internet service, making it easier to show customers software programs and even demonstrating the Firestick. We would love to know how to work on getting new services in our area.

    1. While I totally hear the concerns about those who need to take courses and tests – or even work (like me) via high speed internet, we need to rely on our community to make this happen and not the CREC or OG&E.

      I’ve written about this particular issue for Heartland Institute (https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/report-california-taxpayer-funded-internet-program-doesnt-provide-internet?source=policybot and https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/madison-wisconsin-lawmakers-dial-up-taxpayer-funded-internet-plan?source=policybot) and what I’ve found usually happens with these kinds of programs, is that taxpayers are soaked for the cost, and yet never really get the kind of service they were promised.

      Look closely at this paragraph in the NYT article:

      “This is the new New Deal,” said Sheila Allgood, a manager of Bolt, the broadband subsidiary of the Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, referring to government efforts under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that brought electricity and other infrastructure to rural America in the 1930s. “Now we’re doing what cable and telecom companies don’t want to do, just like we did for electricity when the big private power companies didn’t want to come here either.”

      This describes the same kind of plan used in California, Wisconsin and others to provide customers with little to none of the internet service purported by providers.

      The best thing to do is to work with existing private internet suppliers in this area to get them to continue to expand their existing services. Taxpayer prop-ups don’t work and remove the ability of the user to confront failures at the local level.

      Just my two-cents (written and posted while using Airosurf radio for broadband).

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