Though geographically small, Delaware is aiming big with its mission to be the first state with universal broadband accessibility. Boosted by $110 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding and Gov. John Carney’s commitment to closing the digital divide, the state is aggressively expanding hard-wired broadband internet access to “the last mile,” including more than 11,600 homes and businesses that have been identified as underserved.
- I am sorry to say this, but Sussex County, so much larger than the other two counties and so much more agricultural, has historically been left behind with technology, with original electric service, with telephone service, with paved roads and now with high-speed internet. What makes it even worse is that a lot of people in Sussex County used to have dial-up internet via their landline phones, and then, that disappeared and left them without access once again. Too slow for them to connect to current internet speeds. We in Delaware need to decide if we want all of our children to get access to equal education, which today equates to their ability to do research and Zoom group meetings online, often from home, or if we only care about those of our citizens and students who live in more populated areas. And we need to make that access affordable for everyone. I keep wondering, if the state is pouring huge amounts of money into expanding internet access, why do the providers need to keep raising the prices to levels that many can’t afford? It is getting to the point where simply having internet access can cost more than heating one’s home, maintaining sewer and water, sometimes even buying food. We need to start seeing internet as a necessity, like all of our other utility and living costs, and bring the cost down to more reasonable and affordable levels. — Ruth Ashby