Here's Another Reason Why Government Should Provide Baseline Internet Access
Today at work the internet went down. This may not seem like such a big deal for many companies, but for most modern companies, it completely disrupts their workflow. All the developers at work had to twiddle their thumbs, except for work they could do locally because of lack of access to the internet. Some of the developers, engineers, and executives had to go down to their local Starbucks to continue working, while others went home. Eventually the rest of the engineers and most of the salespeople ended up going home.
The interesting thing is that if there had been even baseline internet access, it would have been a small thing to keep the company going by switching over to pick up the Wi-Fi feed. It would have been slow, but it would have allowed work to happen. Federal and State government do not seem to realize that the current laws need to be amended to allow a baseline level of service being provided by the city, state, or federal government. A long time ago, government realized that the telephone infrastructure was necessary to the functioning of the country. Once that happened, government agencies made sure that there would always be some sort of rudimentary phone service available. This was accomplished by providing incentives to companies to cap the cost of these services and ensure reliability. While most of the regulations regarding telelphones have been extended to internet, our government fails to understand the necessity of the internet to America's functioning. While having the internet out one day for a single company or agency is less than a blip, having a backbone go out or a POP for example could seriously hurt business. Not so much as the power going out, but enough to be a consideration for Government. It is up to our leadership to make sure there is some level of redundancy independant of business to keep things running during outages. Perhaps this can be accomplished by taxing ISPs and customers to provide this as a service to ensure reliablity of the system. As long as I can see where my tax dollars are going, I don't mind paying a little for ensured internet access. I'm sure most companies would truly enjoy an additional level of security even if it meant slightly higher monthly internet bills.