PROGRESS ON THE HORIZON
The Internet in Alaska is getting faster and easier to use than ever before.
And it’s about to get even faster with the recent announcement that Anchorage will become one of the first cities worldwide to rollout a 5G data network – increasing speeds and connectivity to the Internet citywide. Expanding broadband access in Alaska is opening new opportunities from distance learning to telehealth.
MORE WORK TO DO
Alaska has more work to do to continue its Internet expansion process.
- 20 percent of Alaskans do not have access to broadband. (Broadband Now)
- Alaska ranks last in the nation in percent of its school districts meeting minimum Internet-speed. (Hechinger Report, 1/18/19)
- 59,107 Alaska students lack bandwidth needed to support integration of technology in classroom instruction. (Education SuperHighway, 5/9/18)
OVERREGULATION COULD HALT PROGRESS
Title II was a disaster for broadband buildout. It’s been tried before, and it drastically mitigated the expansion of coverage.
- Title II “put a damper on the internet business, delaying and discouraging completion of critical internet infrastructure projects.” (American Enterprise Institute’s Shane Tews, Juneau Empire, 3/6/19)
- “At worst, it would do serious harm to rural communities in greatest need of broadband upgrades.” (Anchorage Press, 7/18/18)
- “For rural America, it (net neutrality) also imposes a whole separate set of invasive economic regulations… that will drive away investment needed to bring high-speed networks to our communities.” (League of Rural Voters’ Niel Ritchie, “Net neutrality is vital – but so is rural broadband,” Anchorage Daily News, 4/26/18)
Net neutrality is vital – but it imposes an entire set of economic regulations that will drive away investments from rural communities – harming the well-being of a majority of Alaskans.
CONGRESS’ INTERNET OVERREACH
Liberal activists in places like San Francisco and New York have redefined the concept of “net neutrality” as a massive government takeover and are advocating for substantial overregulation of the Internet. That threatens to slow down efforts in Alaska to expand access to faster and better broadband and new innovations like telemedicine and distance learning.
Alaska can’t afford for Congress to screw up the Internet and slow down expansion of broadband access.
Despite significant progress in Alaska to expand broadband access, much of Alaska still lacks high-speed internet access, especially in schools where Alaska’s next generations will be at a disadvantage in preparing to compete for jobs in today’s digital marketplace.
With Internet speeds faster than ever and getting faster every day, why does Congress need to mess with the Internet?
Alaska’s leaders in Congress need to take a stand. We can’t afford for Congress to screw up the Internet with government overregulation.