Scientific American – How Washington Gridlock Delays High-Speed Broadband to Rural U.S.

As large swathes of the country languish in the last digital century, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has vowed to make rural broadband a priority.

August 21, 2017

‘An internet battle has been raging for more than a decade over so-called “net neutrality,” the principle that internet service providers and governments treat all content equally, prohibiting the indiscriminate blocking or slowing down of certain material. The issue pits broadband providers—who are fighting to limit government regulation of their services—against online companies that rely on the internet’s impartiality to stay in business.

The net neutrality debate rests largely on hypothetical scenarios—for example, that broadband providers will favor content providers like Netflix and Google that are capable of paying more for faster download speeds. The unresolved issue has spawned another, more tangible problem, however: Broadband providers are unwilling to invest in the infrastructure needed to reach the poorest parts of the U.S.’

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