Thursday, October 21, 2021

Play

New research suggests ways to make the transition from education to career pathway smoother for young people, many of whom arenít landing the right job until their 30s; and Republicans block voting rights reforms for a third time.

Play

The White House scrambles to quell supply chain backlogs, Republicans block another voting rights bill, and a majority of Americans now believes the Supreme Court bases decisions on politics, not the constitution.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

AT&T Discontinues DSL, Throwing Rural Residents Into Uncertainty

Play

Tuesday, October 27, 2020   

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- AT&T has announced it's retiring its Digital Subscriber Line broadband internet, putting more than 469,000 DSL customers into uncertainty over the future of their internet access, and leaving new residents of DSL-only areas with few options.

Critics say as more companies phase out phone-line services, rural residents could be left stranded with no access to reliable internet. AT&T is the first telecommunications giant to announce it's retiring DSL.

Harold Feld, senior vice president of the communications advocacy group Public Knowledge, said unlike copper telephone lines, which reach virtually every part of the country, internet cable and fiberoptic networks are primarily accessible in urban ares. He said shelving DSL without implementing a reliable substitute will disrupt rural economies.

"Often in these small rural areas, the copper DSL line is also the one connection for the local business, which means you're not going to be able to process credit cards anymore, you're not going to be able to do automatic teller deposits," Feld said.

He said the pandemic has put the spotlight on problems with internet access in rural communities, as kids continue to learn remotely and families rely on the internet for grocery shopping and telehealth.

AT&T says while new customers are no longer able to place a new order for DSL, current DSL users will be able to continue their existing service.

Feld said the Trump administration's 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order eased previous regulations that would have allowed the government to prevent companies from dropping services that left parts of the country without internet options.

"Broadband under the Obama administration had been classed as a Title 2 communications utility, meaning that you can't turn it off without permission from the FCC," he said. "When the Trump FCC reclassified it as an information service, as opposed to a communications service, the FCC eliminated its own authority."

The Federal Communications Commission maintains the high cost of broadband regulations discourages companies from investing in these rural areas. Feld said for most of the country's history, telecommunications services were viewed as critically essential for everyone.

"Imagine if we said, 'Well, you know what? We don't have to provide electricity to everybody in the country. We'll only provide it to the 85% of people where you get a good financial return, and those other 15% are just out of luck,'" he said.

More than one-third of Kentucky students don't have adequate access to the internet at home, and it's estimated around 34% of households in the Commonwealth lack reliable internet access.


get more stories like this via email

California, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia were selected for the REACH Collaborative for their efforts to serve and support adult learners and demonstrated commitment to equitable student success. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DENVER - On Wednesday, leaders from Colorado's 13 community colleges joined a national effort to help more of the state's adults get credentials and …


Social Issues

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Today, a virtual summit hosted by the Las Vegas Mayor's Faith Initiative looks at the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous …

Social Issues

HOUSTON -- Many U.S. communities with bustling downtowns were better prepared to weather economic fallout from the pandemic, thanks to a decades-old …


Some labor experts estimate that about 300,000 jobs are outsourced annually by companies based in the United States. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- A Wisconsin group that advocates for working families is launching a new campaign, which connects federal policy to the …

Social Issues

SEATTLE - Constructive conversations online can seem few and far between. Research from the University of Washington explores how the design of …

Advocates for Iowans with disabilities say the caregiver shortage could erase decades of progress in self-advocacy. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Advocates for Iowans with disabilities are sounding the alarm over what they describe as a caregiver crisis, pleading with …

Environment

BRAINERD, Minn. - Minnesota boat owners are storing their watercraft for the winter. But that isn't stopping the conversation about responsible water …

Social Issues

BOISE, Idaho - Millions of members around the world, including some Idahoans, are observing International Credit Union Day today. This year marks 73…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021