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Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse?

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the on-one-hand-yes-but-on-the-other-hand-give-me-gigabit dept.

The Internet 259

theodp writes "As Google Fiber forges ahead into new metro areas, Michael Brick reports on worries the fiber project will create a permanent underclass. Building the next generation of information economy infrastructure around current demand, experts say, will deny poor people the physical wiring needed to gain access while the privileged digerati advance at hyperspeed. 'The fiber service deployment means multiplicity of the digital divide, multidimensionality of the digital divide,' says Eun-A Park of the Univ. of New Haven. 'You can see it in Google's trial in Kansas City.' Speed matters, explains Google, 'because a world with universal access and 100 times faster internet could mean 100 times the learning.' Without universal access, as is the case in KC due to pricing that's out of the reach of many of the city's poor, one presumes the outcome could be 100x the learning divide. Another case of the unintended consequences of good intentions?"

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So, learning scales linearly with bandwidth? (5, Interesting)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 8 months ago | (#46305837)

I'd like to hear more about this.

Re:So, learning scales linearly with bandwidth? (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 8 months ago | (#46305861)

Yes. It's a fascinating idea really. Seems it could really speed things up. Instead of taking 20 hours to finish that course from The Learning Company, I could finish it in only 15 minutes.

Re:So, learning scales linearly with bandwidth? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305975)

Behind the snark lurks a valid point. If it takes me 20hrs to download the materials, but it takes you 15mins, then yes, you could finish faster and move on to something else.

Re:So, learning scales linearly with bandwidth? (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46306001)

Behind the snark lurks a valid point. If it takes me 20hrs to download the materials, but it takes you 15mins, then yes, you could finish faster and move on to something else.

But if it takes > 20 hours to actually read and understand the material, then your download speed is trivial and not an issue, I believe was his point.

Re:So, learning scales linearly with bandwidth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305911)

Pipin' it right into the brains. It's in beta now, but that's okay. We're fucking the beta.

Not only that, but... (2)

NickAragua (1976688) | about 8 months ago | (#46306111)

People also use the internet for learning.

Re:Not only that, but... (5, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | about 8 months ago | (#46306203)

That's true, but I'd say that the economic divide sending some people to Stanford and others who started with equal skill to Chico State is a much larger learning division than 100 Mbps vs 56 kbps. To think that somebody getting 100 Mbps downloads is learning 100x faster than somebody getting 1Mbps is ridiculous. The guys who developed the atomic bomb communicated using their voices, shoes, and chalk boards.

Re:So, learning scales linearly with bandwidth? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306155)

Especially since I suspect more learning happens when you're at LOWER bandwidth, where you can access text reasonably quickly enough, but as soon as you try to stream videos, or even perhaps load pictures of cats, it chokes out.

Obamaville. We haz it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306211)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2564858/Baltimores-people-woods-Inside-hidden-homeless-camps-milk-crates-wooden-doors-tarps-outskirts-town.html

And Big Media in the US is like snooze***snooze***snooze! What? Never heard of it. George Bush hates black people! Halibuton!!!

Meanwhile the EBT cards still work... today... good for porn, booze and skittles fer sure.

Oh and it's going to reduce your health insurance costs $2500 a year. Increase or decrease I mean, whatever, not really important because no doctors will be accepting Obamacare insurance anyway.

Fuck you. Pay me.

Re:So, learning scales linearly with bandwidth? (2)

yorgasor (109984) | about 8 months ago | (#46306221)

Cut the poor guy some slack. He clearly has been living with a slow internet connection and hasn't quite figured out that bandwidth and learning don't scale linearly together.

Re:So, learning scales linearly with bandwidth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306273)

You're looking at it the wrong way. Think "google learning about you". More bandwith -> more activity -> more keywords and better "social graph".

If only there were a system (5, Insightful)

RGreen (15823) | about 8 months ago | (#46305855)

Wow, if only there were some kind of organized system of, say, i don't know, governance for ensuring that under-represented members of our communities get equal access to economic resources? Like a set of written guidelines or maybe rules that all members of a community need to abide by...

Re:If only there were a system (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305931)

We could pay money, say every month with paycheck (and then balance it out once a year) and divert it from the richer to the poorer. I think we are onto something here.

Re:If only there were a system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306261)

If only we weren't goverend by the idiots and the corrupt.

Take from the Rich and give to the Poor? Great idea... look how well it's affecting the Health Care industry.

Re:If only there were a system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305951)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv5t6rC6yvg

Re:If only there were a system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306033)

Yea. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Because that's worked so well every time it's been attempted in the past.

Re:If only there were a system (3, Insightful)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 8 months ago | (#46306083)

Military, police, roads, etc

Re:If only there were a system (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 8 months ago | (#46306103)

Man, that wasn't at all what RGreen was suggesting. Also, name one time it's honestly been attempted. Just once. WRONG! Whatever you're thinking, that was some power hungry selfish people who thought they might be able to use that as an excuse to wrest power away from other power hungry selfish people. Had nothing to do with serving the people.

You might argue that's why it can never work. That's probably true. Good thing, again, that RGreen was not suggesting we do that.

Re:If only there were a system (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 8 months ago | (#46306179)

You can only judge something by the actual results. It doesn't matter what kind of excuses you want to make up. Stuff has to make it in the real world rather than some fantasy that only exists in your own head. If all attempts lead to disaster because there is some aspect of human nature you choose to ignore, then perhaps you should acknowledge it's a bad idea.

Re:If only there were a system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306231)

No true Communist?

"under-represented members" can STFU (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306167)

What they can have is incompetent unionized teachers that can't be fired, high taxes, failing infrastructure, and endemic government corruption.

Because that's what they vote for.

See also: Detroit.

Re:If only there were a system (2)

jmichaelg (148257) | about 8 months ago | (#46306175)

...complete with regulators that would end up working for the companies they regulate.

And of course, said regulators would raise the price of entry so that the incumbents would have a natural advantage.

What a novel idea!

Doubtful. (4, Insightful)

Fishchip (1203964) | about 8 months ago | (#46305859)

"...'because a world with universal access and 100 times faster internet could mean 100 times the learning."

Oh, you funny crazy optimistic Google guys. You confused 'learning' with 'pornography and memes'.

Besides that, what about people in rural areas? What about people who still rely on dialup? They're already in existence but because some rich people in certain cities will have stupid fast Internet, there's suddenly an Internet class divide?

Re:Doubtful. (2)

Panspechi (948400) | about 8 months ago | (#46305915)

It,s a crappy exaggeration... let,s not innovate too much because someone might be left behind! I'm siding with the Google deployment on this one; they offer a better service for what seems quite a bit less money. This has more chance to bring the internet to poorer people than ever before (although only in towns for now, but it is only beginning).

Re:Doubtful. (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46306121)

[Google] offer[s] a better service for what seems quite a bit less money.

This.

I don't see how charging a one-time fee of $300 for the initial hookup is "putting broadband out of the reach of the poor" when the competing companies charge upwards of $60 - $100 per month for service. If anything, it's doing the exact opposite.

Is Michael Brick employed by ComCast or something?

Re:Doubtful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306315)

> let,s not innovate too much

To be fair, this country would be better off with more consistent improvements that help all people instead of ones that help only the few. For example, the legality of private schools in this country mean that the rich get better educations than everyone else. That is one factor that is destroying the middle class. Instead, they should be outlawed so everyone works to make schools better. That's the only fair thing to do.

The same is true with Internet access. Instead of spending tons of money to make a few Republican areas ridiculously fast, we should invest in technology that will help everyone. Where I live in downtown Seattle, Comcast has the government-granted cable monopoly, but they don't offer service on my street so we're stuck with DSL. Because of the distance from the CO, the connections here are typically less than 1 Mbps for almost $70/month. I'm in a neighborhood that is very smart, but very poor. As an example, we voted for Obama by more than 80% in the last election. Instead of giving the rich Republicans a thousand times the speed we have, the government should instead work on increasing our speed. That is the only fair thing to do. Improving our speed is as simple as replacing a few 30+ year-old 66 blocks and a few troublesome spots of 30+ year-old wiring instead of the Republican method of digging and putting in fiber. That is much easier, faster, and cheaper so we can help more people.

presume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305863)

"one presumes the outcome could be 100x the learning divide"

Yeah, and one could presume the moon is made of cheese.

Constant theme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305865)

We don't live in a Star Trek world (yet).

How do we divide limited resources fairly?

Who should win and who should go without?

hrm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305871)

this went through my mind after reading the OP and the linked articles:

"We have spin coverage on the network and throughout the InterLink."

If you don't know where that's from, I weep for you.

100 x faster learning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305881)

Nope. Pron HD. Angry Birdz. Facebook, twitter and imgur, YES.
Learning - still subject to the individual, like the few quiet students in the 300 + high-school class
that actually did stuff instead of the "in" activities or church, or raves nowadays....

Sorry, but the digital divide is not just due to internet speeds.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305885)

How many neighborhoods were demolished to make way for the internet superhighway?

This is the most retarded astroturf post ever (5, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 8 months ago | (#46305891)

The only people harmed by Google's high speed access are the CEOs of companies that have sucked down billions in government money for providing high speed internet access while doing nothing to actually provide it.

Re:This is the most retarded astroturf post ever (1)

lochnessie (1291986) | about 8 months ago | (#46305921)

Amen! (in lieu of mod points)

Re:This is the most retarded astroturf post ever (5, Insightful)

dclozier (1002772) | about 8 months ago | (#46305977)

My thoughts exactly - the digital divide wouldn't be any less worse without Google. If anything Google is slowly forcing the hands of the large telcos to bolster their services or have their lunches eaten.

Re:This is the most retarded astroturf post ever (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306129)

Most of the 'divide' is from our telco companies themselves, wanting to be a monopoly. Ask someone in india what they pay for an all you can eat data cell plan then compare it to your cost. Big diff huh? Try 10-20x diff for the same tech per year. Ask someone in japan what they pay for 100MB symmetrical fios line. Oh you cant even get it huh? Well too bad, enjoy your DSL speeds if your lucky.

No competition means little to no innovation. As they can do the bare minimum to lower their costs and charge you a princely sum for the privilege. Our city/county/state/federal gov LET them do it, and in some cases colluded with them to cause it to happen. This has been going on for 50+ years now. The names may change but the dance is the same.

For example I currently use TW which will probably be bought out by Comcast. My bill will go up by 15-20 dollars. For less service than I get now. Monopoly pricing at its best.

Re:This is the most retarded astroturf post ever (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 8 months ago | (#46306053)

Comcast is really doing everything it can to get teh TWC acquisition approved. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02... [nytimes.com]

WASHINGTON — Only a few hours had passed after the $45 billion merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable was announced last week when an early voice emerged endorsing the giant deal.

“Win-win situation for American businesses,” said the statement from the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

It was the start of what Comcast executives acknowledge will be a carefully orchestrated campaign, as the company will seek hundreds of such expressions of support for the deal — from members of Congress, state officials and leaders of nonprofit and minority-led groups — as it tries to nudge federal authorities to approve the merger.

But what the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce did not mention in its statement praising the transaction was that it had collected at least $320,000 over the last five years from Comcast’s charitable foundation, which is run in part by David L. Cohen, the Comcast executive who oversees the corporation’s government affairs operations....

Re:This is the most retarded astroturf post ever (4, Informative)

rwa2 (4391) | about 8 months ago | (#46306237)

Amen to that. If you look at the Google Fiber Cities plan at https://fiber.google.com/newci... [google.com] , you can more or less see that Google Fiber is trying to avoid population centers where the internet is already well developed (DC-NYC-BOS corridor, LA, Chicago, Seattle, Houston) and primarily concentrating in "up-n-coming" low-cost southern tech centers, which already typically get lower marks for education.

So if anything, Google Fiber appears to be trying to bring the poors up rather than help the richers widen the gap.

No good deed goes unpunished (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305893)

No good deed goes unpunished

Typical socialist bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305899)

There was no problem until someone else got something better than the next guy. Leftist jealosy dictates that instead of striving to earn the same benefits, it's much easier to complain about the other guy's achievements and demand that they be removed.

Journalists love calling out google for everything (5, Insightful)

Niterios (2700835) | about 8 months ago | (#46305917)

So, a faster speed is bad because some won't have access to it? How is not implementing a faster speed option going to help them? This is the exact same problem with, for example, real estate: Since some people can pay for better houses, should we prohibit such houses because it gives them an unfair advantage? It seems that the author does not realize that the problem is of much greater dimensions than: "Google is discriminating people by income." Capitalism is discriminating people by income, and if that is his complaint, then his article sucks at conveying it.

Re:Journalists love calling out google for everyth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306109)

Not to mention that these prices are cheap compared to competitors like Comcast. Those fuckers charged me like $75 for a self-install when I moved AND they charge $75+ (before taxes) a month for a lot slower connection than Google Fiber.

Let's get fiber rolled out as far and wide as we can, then worry about whoever is getting left behind. Because right now that's basically all of us!

Er... (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 8 months ago | (#46305929)

Yes, the company offering free service if you pay a one-time fee for the hookup (a fairly reasonable one, at that) is totally making the digital divide worse. Clearly.

The pricing of their gigabit offering is fantastic. And while that price is undoubtedly out of the reach of poor people, so is almost everything. If it's really that important to have gigabit internet for the nation's poor, then that's something the government (as well as charitable organizations) needs to subsidize, just like with anything else that is deemed necessary (but too expensive for the poverty-stricken to afford). In no way can Google be reasonably found to be at fault here.

Re:Er... (5, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 8 months ago | (#46306013)

Yes, the company offering free service if you pay a one-time fee for the hookup (a fairly reasonable one, at that) is totally making the digital divide worse. Clearly.

And the free service is 5mbps, more than fast enough for Khan Academy and Coursera.

It's as if Google realized in advance that the lunatics would scream "digital divide" because they were charging -- at a dirt cheap price -- for a superlative Internet service, so they tried to head that criticism off at the pass by offering a lower-speed free service.

But still the lunatics scream "digital divide". And Slashdot editors gave them a platform.

Does make it worse: it adds a tier. (1)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 8 months ago | (#46306147)

Before you had to choose between crappy cable or crappy dsl and watched as other nations like South Korea were on the lucky side of the digital divide.

Now we have three tiers: Crappy American connection, Awesome South Korean connection, and Fantasy Google connection.

Thanks Google for giving people unrealistic dreams. ... As soon as they announce where they are connecting in Austin, I'm moving.

Free for community centers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306019)

Also, Google is providing free gigabit connections to public schools, libraries, etc. in the neighborhoods that are getting gigabit fiber: https://fiber.google.com/about/communityconnections/

But, as TFA states, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306071)

You won't get free service if you are poor and must move into where the poor live and the landlords didn't pay for the hookup. No khan academy for you.

Faster internet will help regardless. (1)

Zitchas (713512) | about 8 months ago | (#46305939)

Having widespread gigabit internet should, in theory, continue to benefit the entire society, not just those capable of affording it. Even if the lower segment of society can not afford it, they should still benefit from it. After all, libraries and other public access points should be able to afford it, especially given that encouraging education is part of their mandate.

That being said, I disagree with the logic that one needs to have access to top-tier internet in order to advance one's education. Most of that bandwidth, in private use instances, is going to be taken up in streaming netflix, videogames, and torrents. (and related services) Very little is going to be used for educational purposes. If one is actually intent on learning, a tiny fraction of a gigabit connection is all that is needed, so long as one focuses on that and not trying to multitask.

Yeah, that FREE internet is sure excluding people (2)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 8 months ago | (#46305943)

From the link they provided, you can get FREE basic internet, and IIRC, they were even waiving the $300 setup fee that the page mentions.

Pricing that's out of reach... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305947)

[quote]Without universal access, as is the case in KC due to pricing that's out of the reach of many of the city's poor...[/quote]

Sure, the city's poor may not be able to afford the $70/month for gigabit speeds, but what other ISP offers 5Mbps internet for *FREE*?

Re:Pricing that's out of reach... (4, Interesting)

ynp7 (1786468) | about 8 months ago | (#46306073)

Man, wait until he/she finds out that Comcast is charging us $80/month for a fraction of that speed.

Let's stop tech until everyone can have it (1)

siphonophore (158996) | about 8 months ago | (#46305957)

It's 2100, and we only have a few years to go before the last sub-saharan gets a modem and we can turn on the internet!

smh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305961)

"The fiber service deployment means multiplicity of the digital divide, multidimensionality of the digital divide"

Does this idiot even understand the words that are coming out of his mouth?

Re:smh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305985)

Erm, her mouth, not his...

Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305965)

What about the free service you can get from them? It does cost $300 up front, but they do allow you to make a payment of $25 a month. You won't find a service that will be cheaper than that, and after one year it's free.

In other news... (5, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46305971)

...Ford is making the transportation gap worse by producing vehicles that the poor can't afford, and I am making the car analogy gap worse by making car analogies people who don't read Slashdot can't see.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306009)

You monster

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306057)

Clearly, the fact that The Gap stores aren't primarily located in low-income areas increases The Gap gap.

Re:In other news... (2)

Metrol (147060) | about 8 months ago | (#46306067)

Have you fully considered the multidimensionality of the vehicular divide of which you speak? Oh my gosh, and the multiplicity of the analogy gap!

Highway to hell (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 8 months ago | (#46305981)

That's what I call Google fiber: this goddamned company is trying to control anything, from the OS (Android) to carrier to search engine to the entire freaking internet.

Don't you see? It's not the digital divide we should fear, it's the Google monopoly. Once they control everything, they'll dictate what you can do and not do on their internet.

Super-fast internet connectivity attracts internet users like honey the proverbial fly. That's why Google offers it. Once we're stuck in the honey though, we'll be in real trouble...

Re:Highway to hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306123)

I can't see Google being any worse than local monopolies the slow, plodding telcos provide us with currently. At least Google is providing an alternative to AT&T's pathetic Uverse service, Time Warner's horrible upstream speeds, etc..

Google has gotten where they are by being good at what they do. Best search engine tech ever, they win. Best mobile phone OS, they win again. Integration between their mobile phone OS and their services, another win. See where this is going? Consumers are choosing where they have choices, Google isn't shoving anything down anyone's throats.

*not a paid shill, just tired of Scroogled reactivists.*

Re:Highway to hell (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 8 months ago | (#46306239)

Yes you're right: Google is good, really really good. And they're so good that, when customers/users have a choice, they choose Google... until Google is the only provider left, and then you have a monopoly and you're trapped because there's no other service left to switch to.

It's already happened: want to upload Youtube videos? You have to subscribe to Google+ and its invasive TOS. Don't want G+? You have to use Vimeo or Dailymotion or other inferior online video services. And because Google has grown so massive, they have the means to drive Vimeo and Dailymotion out of business for good.

See where this is going?

This is not reactivism, this is fighting monopolies. Monopolies are bad: whichever way they come about, they're bad news. The telcos you complain about behave this way precisely because they're monopolies.

um, no (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#46305983)

'because a world with universal access and 100 times faster internet could mean 100 times the learning.'

Yeah, uh, no.

There are so many wrong assumptions there I don't even know where to start.

BTW, I'm still waiting for TV to revolutionize learning like was promised ...

Re:um, no (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 8 months ago | (#46306217)

TV has revolutionized learning. It just wasn't a particularly beneficial revolution.

Comcast or Verizon? (5, Informative)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 8 months ago | (#46305987)

Who is paying this shill?

Re:Comcast or Verizon? (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 8 months ago | (#46306061)

Beware of Google, they may help people's lives, so only people in Comcast or Verizon zones are the underclass. There is definitely a shill here at play.

In all seriousness, I can't wait til Google rolls out more fiber! I want 1-10 gb/s speeds to challenge the jerks trying to get us to pay more and more for less and less.

Re:Comcast or Verizon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306095)

If you had google fiber, you would have known this 100x sooner...

probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306245)

cox communications

No, Socialist politicians are (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305989)

http://www.myfoxny.com/story/24782201/ny-lawmaker-parents-should-take-parenting-classes

"NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz Jr. introduced a bill that would require parents of elementary school children to attend a minimum of four parent support classes. If parents don't go, 6th graders won't move onto 7th grade. "

Don't you love liberal feel good bully control and Big Government everywhere and anywhere?

Why worry? Just cede all power and control to the state, they will take care of you.

Goo grief.

So why wait until 6th grade? You get 12 years to fuck a kid up, THEN you're going to be a responsible parent because a bureaucrat teaches you? This is the plan?

C'mon you socialists, put me up some knowelede, do you really support this thuggery and tyranny? I mean we all know that some parents are better than others, there are lots of people out there who should not be parents, but do you honestly think that giving control like this to the state is going to end up making things better? Why would anyone think that when history tells us exactly the opposite? Government makes things worse, always, every-damn-fucking time.

Government could fuck up an anvil. Put government and an anvil in a room all by themselves, with nothing else, and wait. I guarantee you when you come back to the room you will find that they have fucked up the anvil.

And you morons vote for this shit. Really?

Re:No, Socialist politicians are (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 8 months ago | (#46306101)

>And you morons vote for this shit. Really? The irony.

Re:No, Socialist politicians are (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306135)

I know right?

Wait a minute... what are you talking about?

Re:No, Socialist politicians are (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306161)

Sorryby mlw4428 for repeatedly calling you an intellectual dolt and fascist twinkie. It's nothing personal. I just think you have repulsive totalitarian inclinations and the brains of a King Charles spaniel.

Didn't RTFA but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305993)

This is nonsense. The divide certainly exists but widening the gap isn't necessarily detrimental to the lower end of it if their service isn't diminished. While we're wildly speculating I'll hazard to guess that inferior technologies such as DSL and cable may actually become more affordable for the lower class as fiber claims the more affluent customers.

Watching videos == learning? Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46305995)

This means 100x more watching My Little Pony, not 100x more learning C++. It takes amazingly little bandwidth to learn C++. I used a book, for example.

Re: Watching videos == learning? Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306291)

Yeah, but visualise the bandwidth of a station wagon full of C++ books.

Bandwidth isn't the issue (1)

Neruocomp (513658) | about 8 months ago | (#46305997)

This is about the last mile. You don't need fiber to your door to take advantage of it nor do you need access to that much bandwidth. My broadband comes in on twisted pair at 12Mbps and my issue isn't with bandwidth capacity, but with the price. The price of broadband needs to go down. The definition of what broadband is needs to change to increase the baseline of what can be called broadband.

broadband is there for netflix and youtube (4, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#46306003)

the only reason i have 20/2 is for netflix and youtube. the latter being the most educational, but the educational videos can be played on slower speeds
everything else would work with under 10mbps internet
wikipedia doesn't need 1gbps and that's the most educational site there is

there is only one reason for fast internet and that's to make you spend more money buying on impulse. 1gpbs you can buy that movie NOW instead of waiting for the blu ray. or get that PS4 game NOW instead of driving to gamestop or best buy or waiting on amazon

Re: broadband is there for netflix and youtube (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306319)

It doesn't matter. You put the game DVD in your drive and install it. Then Steam makes you download 4gb if updates before you can play.

It's more of a case of... (5, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 8 months ago | (#46306007)

...Another case of the unintended consequences of good intentions?...

It is more a case of leaping blindly into unsubstantiated conclusions based upon the cherry-picking of information that suits your intent.

Reading Speed is at 300baud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306023)

I bet he doesnt live in one of the future googlized fiber cities.
The current trend is less and less words on page with bigger and bigger pictures, like NBCNEWS.com website.
If 1 out 4 people dont know the earth goes around the sun , I can see the pain in all those that know better faces..
The trend is more and more fiber anyways. I believe smart phones erased any of that social divide that was invented before.

Betteridge's law of headlines (5, Insightful)

ityllux (853334) | about 8 months ago | (#46306031)

This seems as good a time as any to dust off Betteridge's law of headlines: "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

Don't Hold Everyone Else Back (3, Informative)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 8 months ago | (#46306039)

Assuming Google fiber will force the competition to lower prices or increase their own bandwidth this is a simplified example of what is happening.

Would you rather have:
Google Fiber allowed: 50% of people have 1000 Mbit internet and 50% of people have 10 Mbit internet
or
Google Fiber is not allowed: 50% of people have 20 Mbit internet and 50% of people have 5 Mbit internet

Forcing equality often just means lowering the standards of living for everyone. Even for people at the bottom.

Re:Don't Hold Everyone Else Back (1)

kqs (1038910) | about 8 months ago | (#46306267)

Assuming Google fiber will force the competition to lower prices or increase their own bandwidth this is a simplified example of what is happening.

Nah. Increasing bandwidth is expensive; paying shills to write anti-Google articles is much cheaper.

With their $300-installation-then-free plan Google is doing far more to bridge the digital divide than any of their competitors.

Re:Don't Hold Everyone Else Back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306293)

Time Warner Cable is offering "Ultimate 100" in the Kansas City metro areas for $69.99 (100 Mbps down / 5 Mbps up). Google Fiber will be around my area in a year or two for $70 / month.

I'm using Ultimate 100 until Google Fiber comes around. To address your assumption, the competition (Time Warner Cable) has lowered their prices. The $69.99 is NOT a promotional offer and Time Warner said that rate will not change (we'll see how long that lasts).

AT&T keeps offering special promotions and "upgrading" my area to faster speeds but I dislike their U-Verse.

In my area there is another cable company (formerly SureWest, now CCI) that I sent a "good bye" letter when I changed to Time Warner Cable. CCI has 30 Mbps up / 30 Mbps down for (fiber to house) for~$69 / month and $150 / month for 50 Mbps up / 50 Mbps down.

Competition is good, in most cases.

How exactly is this making it worse? (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | about 8 months ago | (#46306049)

This is complete bullshit. In other markets we're paying the same prices for far slower speeds and those who can't afford the Free that Google is charging for 5/1MBit aren't getting Internet here either.

Internet access needs to be more widely available. Internet access needs to be cheaper. What the fuck does that have to do with Google Fiber specifically?

City's should embrace the infrastructure (4, Insightful)

JoeDaddyZZZ (3543989) | about 8 months ago | (#46306069)

Cities that want to help business should embrace fiber and use their dollars to help build it out, instead trying to attract business via cheap loans or tax relief. Spend the tax dollars to improve everyone's life.

Re:City's should embrace the infrastructure (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 8 months ago | (#46306251)

Cities don't have the budget to fight the cable and phone companies in the state legislature and the courts to get/keep permission to lay fiber.

PPM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306075)

To paraphrase an old colleague, 100 times faster internet means 100x more PPM - porn per minute.

Learning? Who is learning? (1)

techstar25 (556988) | about 8 months ago | (#46306081)

Don't assume that access to the internet is making anybody smarter. I think that's the real question. If anything, access to the internet is making people less intelligent, and I think there is more evidence to support that claim. The child who walks to the library and picks up a book and reads is going to end up smarter than the kids who hits up wikipedia, youtube, and various blogs to get his information.

First, Do Evil (4, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#46306097)

As we all know, Google's charter starts with the phrase "First, Do Evil".

Look, there's literally a 100 GB/second pipe in the building I'm in, and two more just 2 blocks away, and 40 GB/second pipes all over the UW Seattle campus and the UW Tacoma campus.

Almost all top tier US and Canadian research universities have this, and we could easily build this out within a few miles if we actually wanted to fund that as a National Priority, just like we went to the Moon when we wanted to.

There are choices.

We just aren't prepared to fund them as a nation.

Re:First, Do Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306287)

Look, in the USA not everyone's even on board with the idea that the federal government should spend money on the military.
You're not going to get people to agree to spend tax dollars on letting more people watch more simultaneous Netflix streams.

Diminishing returns (1)

satuon (1822492) | about 8 months ago | (#46306107)

I bet that the difference between having 50 KB/s connection and having no Internet is greater than between having 50 KB/s and 50 MB/s.

Re:Diminishing returns (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 8 months ago | (#46306189)

devices to access the internet can be made in bulk for less than $100

in a couple years that price will probably be below $25. most poor people in USA have TVs after all...

Re:Diminishing returns (1)

Paco103 (758133) | about 8 months ago | (#46306243)

I don't know about that. Slow Internet invokes rage, hatred, and violent thoughts that most people without internet will never face.

This is what I have come to dislike about fairness (1)

quitte (1098453) | about 8 months ago | (#46306141)

It increasingly seems to me that the demand for fairness is a race to the bottom and results in a loose-loose situation. Because if not everyone gets the good stuff noone should get it - because of the so called fairness.

This happens so often as to make me angry - and I'm far from privileged.

Maybe, depending on your view, but who cares? (5, Interesting)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 8 months ago | (#46306149)

You can't hold back progress just because not everyone has gotten aboard the train. That train is leaving just as soon as it can make a buck.

Po'boy can't get no youtube lickitysplit on an ol' busted DSL line, but he can still browse wikipedia. And back when he couldn't get wikipedia he could still hit up a library. And I imagine people will complain that the poor unwashed masses with their slow and broken fiber lines won't be able to access the hivemind as quickly as and as comfortably as his rich relatives.

You're bitching that the digital divide is increasing because someone is plowing ahead. The poor will always be playing catchup. It's part of what makes them poor. And sure, that sucks. But would you blame the Wright brothers for keep the poor downtrodden and earthbound while making a device that only the rich could afford? No. So please, kindly, GTFO of the way of progress. CHOO CHOO!

Obviously, Cable and Landlines did the same thing. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 8 months ago | (#46306187)

Oh wait... this astroturf is being provided by the cabletelcos, right?

If this argument were true, than when telephones were introduced (require landlines) it must have created a huge information divide. Then, when cable companies came along and allowed you to watch 20 times the TV channels than OTA, this must have got even WORSE. Learning hampered, communication blockaded for people without somewhere to hook up their TV and phone.

So let's make the cable and telephone companies give away high speed bandwith over the air, and see if that closes up this huge gulf we've been experiencing for the past 75+ years.

Why single out Google? (1)

misnohmer (1636461) | about 8 months ago | (#46306241)

Let's not forget those evil universities whose teaching is not affordable to everyone, those sure are creating a learning divide - we need to close them all. How about those premium bed and mattress manufacturers, good night of sleep definitely helps learning, so someone with a better bed definitely has an unfair advantage. How about those healthy food providers, health is a definite advantage - we should force everyone to eat only what the poorest can afford to level the playing field. Those evil doctors who date to cure people who pay them, hang them all! We all need to go back to the stone age where everything was equal, oh wait, there was this guy who produced stone tools and only gave it to his family and friends, gotta axe him too.

What a retarded communist argument to make... I bet it's the other telco's who sponsored this.

Hunger Games (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | about 8 months ago | (#46306253)

I'm pretty sure this is how it all starts.

Poor people can't afford is so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46306321)

Let's just not upgrade anything ever again...

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