Web Access in Remote Areas: How Does It Feel?

As we already live in a time where internet access is considered a necessity, New York’s Governor Cuomo invested as much as $500 million to provide its people statewide access to broadband. The so-called New York Broadband Program introduced Phase 3 awards that operate up to $380 million in public/private broadband investment. This covers 137,757 households and other locations statewide. A portion of New Yorkers that fiber and cable can’t reach is given an option to opt for a satellite internet like HughesNet. They offer service plans ranging from $59.99 to $149.99 all equipped with 25mbps download speed and 3mbps upload speed.

With the pandemic that has been going on, 20-gigabyte plans wouldn’t suffice for the whole month since everyone is staying at home. Video meetings and online classes would eat up everything in just a week or two. Due to this, HughesNet Internet has increased its download speed from 25mpbs to 40-50mbps. As convenient as it may seem, it consumes bytes much faster and you will reach your data cap faster.

The New York Broadband Program is definitely admirable. It can be greatly improved as long as they continue to work on it especially that there are still other remote areas that need a better connection. Local leaders and politicians have shown their effort to provide the entire state a fast and reliable internet connection. Especially with the situation that we’re dealing with right now, the internet is very much needed in every household.

According to a new Microsoft study, almost half of the United States’ population (163 million people) does not have access to high-speed internet at home. Students residing in rural areas find it impossible to partake in any online school activities whilst indigent people who live in urban areas find it too expensive. This is an issue that will continue to persist unless the government or someone capable takes action.

Going back, a friend of mine is currently subscribed to HughesNet Satellite Internet. She’s had a fair share of disappointment with her subscription. There was an instance where she could not access and download her emails. She spent her time contacting HughesNet and Apple at the same time since she’s a Mac user. Unfortunately, they never gave her the answers she needed. With the experience she had, her suspicions started with her provider blocking some sites without notice. 

She solved her email problems by using their local library’s high-speed internet. In fact, she also started having her meetings in her car at the library’s parking lot. This can’t be a long-term solution but we can see how problematic it can be for people who live in remote areas that need a reliable connection. 

A lot of areas are experiencing the same situation as hers and unfortunately, it’s just how it is. These people pay $70 monthly, $10 more for the same service people get for $60. It may be a small amount to most, but some people need that extra $10 to get by. 

According to a company named Spectrum, an “Incremental Broadband Fund” of $6 million is focused on broadband expansion projects that are selected by the BPO. They claim that they will prioritize those areas that have been overlooked or neglected by most service providers.   It is actually a great project that will benefit the people in need but these are only words until they’ve done it. Web access should be considered a basic human right since it is one of the things that operate almost everything nowadays. We can’t let our brothers and sisters get left behind just because they live far away from the cities

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