The way forward is to prioritize urgent needs over long term visions. In cases where a new wireline network is the only solution that will get a rural community online, of course that network needs to be all fiber and potentially symmetrical. But such cases are rare.
While we have work to do in rural and poor America, we are not at a point where we can afford to turn our backs on emerging technologies in favor of a zombie broadband plan born in the last millennium.
It behooves us to be realistic, to assess facts honestly, and to avoid rushing to solve non-existent problems while real needs remain unaddressed. The Internet works fine for those of us who have it, but it doesn’t work at all for the rest of us.
At least part of this problem will depend on making the necessary enhancements to the Internet architecture that will enable us to provide a kid-safe Internet experience. This may be the hardest part, actually, because it’s the only part that’s not simply a matter of money.
More than anything, we need network components that are inexpensive and capable of taking part in a comprehensive system of self-checking. We’re more likely to get such a system by building it collaboratively.
Contrary to popular myth, Colorado is not witnessing a taxpayer revolt against commercial broadband. A number of cities and counties has seized the authority from the state to build broadband networks through regular election ballot measures, but few have proceeded to build anything.