Alack and also, alas!
Madison’s low-cost internet pilot program is finito. Done. The great dream of bridging the digital divide, of bringing high-speed internet to the helpless victims of the Trump full-employment economy is, sadly, over. A noble experiment, worthy of FDR’s New Deal, has ended. All 19 low-income folks who signed up have been disconnected. Nineteen customers. 19!
The Emerald City’s good-hearted attempt to provide MORE FREE STUFF to the poor and disadvantaged has run up on the shoals of that liberal bugaboo called REALITY!
After spending $173,00 for a feasibility analysis. After spending another $189,000 on operating costs. Your Progressive Voice cites Barry Orton, chair of the city’s Digital Technology Committee, resigned to yield broadband access in Madison to the hated private sector “due to the high costs.”
Orton said the committee hopes to have recommendations to the City Council by October.
He said he suspects the implementing fiber-based broadband across the city would be too expensive for Madison without federal subsidies, which are unlikely.
“It doesn’t look real likely that we’re going to be able to pursue a city-based solution for whatever digital divide or speed divide there is,” Orton said.
Whatever digital divide there is? Apparently, the digital divide = 19.