Explore This FCC Broadband Coverage Map to See How Much the End of Net Neutrality Will Likely Screw You Personally
Via reader “irihapeti”, here’s an interactive map from the FCC displaying broadband coverage across the US, a vivid illustration of Philip Rosedale’s point that few Americans have a meaningful choice between competing broadband providers -and why the FCC’s proposed ending of net neutrality, the regulation that prohibits ISPs from charging extra for different Internet sites and services, is so concerning . You can adjust the Minimum and Maximum number of providers on the map interface, which is an important way of indicating how likely a given area is to be hurt by the end of neutrality.
An area with many providers — five or more is a pretty good bar — probably has enough competition that local consumers can easily switch their provider, if their current one starts adding extra fees for specific Internet services, or throttles them. (For example, let’s say, broadband-heavy virtual world/social VR/MMO usage.) As you can see in the screencap above, folks in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York, and a few other big/wealthy cities will probably be fine if net neutrality goes away. (Though notably and ironically, people in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area may not do as well.) Less than five competitors, the option to switch gets increasingly difficult — two or less, and switching is probably next to impossible. How many Americans have two or less broadband options?
It simply reinforces the market dominance of the existing ISPs by allowing them to gain extract more revenue from their existing customer base, to deploy against new entrants into ‘their’ areas what does rectify the issue is that the infrastructure owner be required to be a broadband wholesaler and not a broadband retailer.
This actual solution which does work in practice from a customer’s pov, is rejected by the current USA Congress and Administration in line with their political view that the marketplace is a zero-sum environment zero-sum is a tenet of monopolism. Which many in the current USA climate accept as normal and a good thing. Monopolists play this card quite well (and always have done), selling monopoly to the libertarian-leaning general public as freedom.
If you buy the argument of Ajit Pai, Trump’s appointee to head the FCC, that ending net neutrality will enable more competition, services, and pricing options, this map is a good way of checking if you are taking a personal risk by accepting that gamble.
- ^ here’s an interactive map from the FCC displaying broadband coverage across the US (bit.ly)
- ^ Philip Rosedale’s point that few Americans have a meaningful choice (nwn.blogs.com)
- ^ For example, let’s say, broadband-heavy virtual world/social VR/MMO usage (nwn.blogs.com)
- ^ contact their Congressperson (nwn.blogs.com)