[Davisgig] draft- What good broadband means to me, and what I want from broadband.

Larry Dieterich ls at whitewavedigital.com
Sun Aug 7 11:22:41 PDT 2016

Hi All,

I am crafting a letter to send to "whom it may concern", supporting the need for better broadband in our communities.

I think that stories about broadband, good and bad, are very useful to help people frame the issue.

I encourage others to tell their stories about the network.

I plan to send the final letter to the BATF or any other parties that anyone thinks useful….

Please comment, suggest, embellish or use. 

Larry Dieterich


What good broadband means to me, and what I want from broadband.

The information necessary to function in the world is increasingly available *only* on the public network. 

In the consumer realm, critical things such as healthcare information, schedules and appointments, navigating the daily needs of life, are all increasingly reliant on resources that are only available online. The low cost of providing services and information online has led many entities to curtail services based on telephone, postal, or in-person access. Network access is no longer optional.

At the same time, the real needs of business and commerce have moved to the public network. Without reliable access to the Internet, business cannot continue to grow in the current paradigm. It is not only about communication, it is about access to supplies, orders, time tracking, billing and payment.

I want to relate a personal story about the benefit of good Internet - 

I am an avid gardener. Last summer, I discovered severe damage to my tomatillo plants, apparently from insects. After observing the damage, I needed information to diagnose and control the problem. I am lucky to have good Internet where I live and I have an Internet-connected computer near my garden. I took a sample of the damaged plants and used the networked computer and a search for the phrase "insect damage in tomatillos". Within a few minutes, using images of damage that were contributed by other gardeners, I knew exactly what was causing the problem and how to control it. I was able to find non-toxic and economical means of control; a strong spray of water to dislodge the feeding larvae. I saved my crop without driving anywhere, spending time on the telephone, poring through books in the library, or buying poison. It was safe and successful and nearly immediate because of the close proximity of a well-networked computer.

On a related note; it is *content* that makes the Internet useful. Having fast, reliable, trusted and affordable Internet connection allows the creation of content to become widely distributed. Individuals can make contributions of their own, using material that is not presently available on the Internet as well as their own experience, to enrich the body of knowledge. The public network is not just about consuming information; but also about contributing knowledge and useful content. With the ubiquity of digital cameras, it is even more important to have access to high speed easy access to enable the easy contribution of images.

The ability to access the public network is no longer an optional luxury or an interesting novelty. Good Internet access, fast, secure and unfettered, is essential to effective living and community participation. The best communities are those with network access that  effectively supports remote work, remote access to services and information. 

The benefits are enormous and include such things as peer-to-peer services such as offsite backup of our unique data to a trusted remote location, such as a neighbor’s home or a remote office. This is enabled by high speed Internet. Another very useful thing is remote monitoring of our homes while we are away. This, too, is enabled by high speed Internet. The possibilities are currently huge and will only grow more with the proliferation of better connectivity.

Increasingly, the demands of living in the networked information age are outstripping the legacy infrastructure. Fiber connections will future-proof communications investments and make a lasting asset of our expenditures. Broadband access has acquired essential status on par with roads, water, sewer and garbage collection. Let’s invest in our community by installing municipally owned fiber-based network connectivity that generates revenue for the city and improves our quality of life, making our community a more desirable place to dwell while sparking and supporting imagination and innovation. The benefits of municipally-owned and widespread gigabit fiber are numerous and obvious.


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