Skip to comments.Grange Supports High Speed Internet Access for Rural America
Posted on 12/11/2001 11:59:04 AM PST by farmfriend
Grange Supports High Speed Internet Access for Rural America
(Washington, DC) December 3, 2001--One hundred years ago this year, the Grange was instrumental in winning Rural Free Delivery Mail service. That legislation opened vast new opportunities for communication and commerce for millions of Americans living on our nations farms and in rural communities. Today, the Grange wants to celebrate that victory by supporting HR 1542, the Internet Freedom and Development Act of 2001, legislation that will help bring high speed Internet access to rural America.
The Grange believes that rural Americans deserve access to the same basic public and commercial services that urban Americans enjoy. Advanced telecommunications services, such as high speed internet access is one of those basic services. However, misguided government regulation is keeping those of us in rural areas from taking full advantage of E-commerce, stated Leroy Watson, National Grange Legislative Affairs Director. H.R. 1542 would help address this problem by mandating rapid deployment of high speed internet services by local phone companies to large and small communities alike. Representatives Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and John Dingell (D-MI) co-sponsored the legislation, which is commonly called the Tauzin-Dingell Bill.
Currently, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires local telephone companies to share their infrastructure with broadband competitors such as AT&T but not visa-versa. The 1996 law was enacted to prevent local telephone companies from monopolizing local voice communications. It had nothing to do with Internet services. The result is that telephone companies are discouraged from making the investment necessary to compete in the high speed Internet market. That leaves unregulated cable/broadband companies, like AT&T, virtually without competition. These companies have ignored rural America for more lucrative urban markets. According to U.S. government data, fewer than 5 percent of Americans in towns with 10,000 or fewer residents have broadband access. Only one percent of citizens have broadband access in towns of 2,500 or less.
The National Grange supports the Tauzin-Dingell Bill because it will break down the regulatory barriers preventing local telephone companies from providing broadband Internet service to their existing rural customers. The adoption of Rural Free Delivery Mail service in 1901 set the precedent for universal service, or the idea that rural Americans were entitled to receive the same level and quality of public and commercial service that people in urban areas receive. Today, the Internet Freedom and Development Act of 2001 extends that idea one step further, to include universal access to advanced telecommunications technologies to all Americans regardless of where they live. Access to broadband Internet will be as important to rural America in the 21st century as universal mail and telephone service has been in the century just completed, Watson stated.
The National Grange is the countrys oldest rural advocacy organization. It was founded in 1867. The Grange has been instrumental in passing legislation benefiting not just farmers, but all rural Americans. It focuses on the basics of rural infrastructure such as health care, education and communications. The Grange has approximately 300,000 individual members affiliated with 3,400 local, county and state Granges throughout 37 states. # # # #
I work in an area where we monitor 3 cities. The smallest is less than 4,000. They got a DSL equipped CO this august.
Yours@19,500 if I'm lucky
yours@19,500 if I'm Lucky
Hey, everyone is subject to the confiscatory right of way laws/rules. And everyone is subject to property taxes. However, not everyone has access to the government largess that whiny farmers enjoy. Sell me your products at market cost. At least then I'll have a choice as to whether I want to subsidize your rich lifestyle.
I read something recently that says otherwise. Once I find it, I'll will post it.
untill you can get over the perception that those of us that toil in the fields have some kind of idyll that compensates for the unfairness of goverment abuse, your claims on my land and other property will have to be compensated.
It is quite reasonable to ask that a public utility that needs my land to exist will provide me with equal service. Don't you think?
The amendment for mandatory deployment was written and put forth by a D - Rep. Rush.
BTW, while I am busy finding my proof otherwise, you need to back up your statement with some proof.
Its been 4 hours and I see you've found nothing?
Not at all. Its completely unrelated to the service that will be provided. Its like asking the government to provide you a car because they're putting a road in front of your driveaway.
And if you are going to throw stones, I don't see your proof either.
All I did was ask a question. You are the one that turned it into some sort of personal quest.
If I asked for more money for National defence, would that be supporting welfare for soldiers? I see keeping our food growing in the US as vital. If welfare for farmers means my food comes from this soil, so be it.
Actually, I wasn't upset. See my bio page. I just don't want there to be any misconceptions about what the Grange supports. There has already been accusations of communism on this thread.
Fletcher Calls For Farm Bill Reform
Agriculture is critical to the health and prosperity of our Nation. Farming and ranching are the foundation of our $1 trillion (with a "Tee") food and fiber business and nearly $60 billion in annual exports. It is responsible for 16% of total economic activity in the country, and almost 18% of the country's jobs. We must protect agriculture. That being said, I believe we should take a closer look at the Farm Bill.
Although the Farm Bill has been scheduled for hearings this month, as I write this report it is expected that action will not be taken until next year.
Despite the events of Nine-Eleven, it appears that most commodity groups and agricultural organizations will pursue full funding of the proposed Farm Bill. However, there is one area of the Bill that goes totally against current Grange policy, and it is this area that I charge the Agriculture Committee to examine as they deliberate this year's policy statement.
Do you know what magnate Ted Turner, basketball player Scotty Pippen, Chevron Oil Company and the giant Archer Daniels Midland all have in common? They all receive farm subsidies from the government. Nationally, nearly 50% of farm income is derived from subsidies. In California, that amount is considerably less, around 14%.
But the payment of millions of government dollars to millionaires must stop lest we lose the program altogether. You may have noticed that we are seeing more and more editorials and stories in the urban press protesting "farmer welfare." Even the Bush administration is questioning this portion of the program which currently calls for $170 billion over the next 10 years. Adding fuel to these fires, the current Farm Bill calls for the elimination of caps on subsidies and contains no provisions for targeting. Payments would be made depending on the size of the operation - a small, family farmer would receive little money, while large corporate farms would receive the most.
Currently, the Grange stands alone among recognized farm groups, with policy that calls for targeting recipients on the basis of need, not size, and opposes the elimination of caps. In fact, current Grange policy calls for a payment limit of $50,000.
1 charge the Ag Committee to examine the Farm Bill and Grange policy. Our policy, which calls for a cap of $50,000, was set over 10 years ago. Is it enough in today's economy? In reaffirming our call for targeting, do we need to more clearly define those targets?
And to those who would do away with subsidies altogether I ask: given current events and the very real threats of bio-terrorism, are the few dollars you would save worth the risk of entrusting the safety of our food supply to countries outside our borders? Yes, we must keep the American farmer solvent and viable, but I don't think that should include adding to a perfectly sound corporation's bottom line.
While still in its planning stages, I would also ask the appropriate committees to consider endorsing a proposal of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture called the Agriculture Flexibility Partnership Act, or "Ag Flex."
Ag Flex is a program that allows the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, Food & Drug, and Interior to delegate to states, with strong accountability safeguards, the administering of Federal programs within the states. It would be at the option of state Governors to participate in this partnership and identify those programs they wish to administer. In exchange, states are required to demonstrate enhanced accountability.
Significant gains have been made in addressing traditional agricultural environmental concerns when federal, state and local governments work together. Soil erosion is down. Wetlands protection has increased, and wildlife habitat has been enhanced. But all too often programs managed by federal bureaus are administered with one-size-fits-all regulations. By shifting the administration to the States, it may be possible to tailor the program to the need.
Under Ag Flex, states rather than the federal agencies would have the delegated authority to administer and implement the selected federal programs. While Ag Flex authority is broad, certain fundamental requirements may not be waived, including those pertaining to health, safety and civil rights. Authority would be granted for a minimum of 5 years. Ag Flex is a totally volunteer program. No state will be mandated to assume a task they do not feel comfortable with administering.
As programs are delegated to states for implementation, accompanying funds would also be allocated. 95% of the current federal budget spent in that state on any particular program would go directly to the state for disbursement using block grants. The remaining 5% would be used for an in-state office by the federal agency transferring the program to help coordinate and assist states in the transfer and administrative process.
The plan would allow the federal agencies to grant waiver authority to states to remove or reduce certain federal statutory or regulatory requirements in exchange for states waiving comparable state regulations.
Current plans call for the initial pilot program be limited to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Interior and Commerce, and is still in the proposal stage. It is the concept I recommend that we support, and I am asking for a policy that can be carried to National Grange.
I charge the Ag Committee to examine the Farm Bill and Grange policy. Our policy, which calls for a cap of $50,000, was set over 10 years ago. Is it enough in today's economy? In reaffirming our call for targeting, do we need to more clearly define those targets?
So they want a little less farm welfare and they want it means tested. This statement still results in my concluding that this is a farmer's welfare group. They just aren't as bold and greedy as ADM. I don't want to be too dramatic because honestly, if we're going to have welfare, I would rather it go to corporations and farmers that actually do work hard. But still, this is like asking the court for mercy because during the looting you only took little things from the store.
Ignoring of course the policy we have on everything else. Look at the policy statments posted earlier on this thread you will see that most of our policy has little to do with farms.
Check the coverage map, that area is mostly rural. (That is the only link on the below FAQ that I corrected the rest won't work from here, so you need to go to the above web page to see them.)
This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about our service. If your question is not answered in the list below, contact us for the answer and maybe we will add it!
|How fast is it?|
|The radios we use can transfer data at nearly 2 Mbps (million bits per second)! Since the total connection speed will be shared with your neighbor, we will try to make sure your connection stays at least 256 Kbps (thousand bits per second) for uploading and downloading. As we add customers, we will increase the total available bandwidth in order to keep your bandwidth the same.
|How much does it cost?|
|Residential service is only $50 per month. For business service and other pricing information, see the pricing page.
|Can I get it at my location?|
|That depends--these radios require a "line of site" to our access point. Basically this means you need to be able to see our antenna from somewhere on your house. However, you will need a site survey to determine whether or not you can receive service since you may just need a short antenna mast to clear an obstacle. Also see our coverage map.
|Do I need a phone line?|
|Absolutely not! In fact, you don't even have to talk to the phone company to get this connection. You will not ever get busy signals because your kids have been on the Internet for 2 hours. You won't have to wait as your modem screeches on the phone, only to connect at 28.8 Kbps or less--this connection is always on!
|What about latency?|
|Unlike satellite Internet systems, latency (delay in the signal starting) is not a problem because you are connecting wirelessly to an Access Point that is at most only a few miles away. Satellites are 22,300 miles above the equator, which adds a significant delay to the transmission and reception of Internet data. This means that your online gaming, computer remote control, and even web browsing are much better experiences!
|How does it connect it to my computer?|
|In most cases, your computer will need to have a USB port to connect. This means we can "plug and play" and not open up your computer to install an internal device. If you have a Mac, decide to use our premium equipment, or require a connection for your network, you will need to have a 10 base T or better network card installed. We can provide this as well if you need it.
|What does this antenna look like?|
|The antennas vary in size depending on your location. However they are all relatively small panels or parabolic mesh grids for very long distances, most measuring less than 1 square foot. And in case you are wondering, FCC rules prohibit local homeowner associations from disallowing installation of these antennas as well as satellite and conventional television antennas.
|What will my email address be?|
|Your email address will be firstname.lastname@example.org. Reserve your name now by signing up! We can also service any domain name email or web site needs for email@example.com.
|Can I host a web site from my computer?|
|Yes! Contact us about a business connection to support this. For your personal web sites, we provide 5 MB of free personal web space on our server. Please help us keep wireless bandwidth available by not hosting web sites on your residential account.
|Can I connect my Mac?|
|Yes! Although the normal radios we use for residential service do not currently have Mac drivers, we want to provide access for everyone. To do this, we will furnish you with our business class radio at the same price as the residential radio. When drivers for the Mac are released, you will have the option of trading in your radio or keeping the business class radio and paying the price difference.
|Can I connect my Linux box?|
|Yes! Our residential radios have Linux drivers.
|What are the requirements for my computer?|
|For a Windows PC, we require Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, or Windows XP with an available USB slot (for the standard equipment) or Ethernet port (for premium equipment installation). In addition 32 MB of RAM and as much free hard drive space as memory in your computer are also required.
For Macs, any System software and an available 10 Base T network connection are required.
Linux users should be prepared to perform the installation themselves, as we will only provide the radio and drivers. Users should know how to configure TCP/IP to use DHCP and be familiar with installing drivers for USB devices.
|Will I get a static IP?|
|IP addresses are normally dynamic; you can get a static IP for an additional charge (see pricing). Contact us if you would like this additional service.
|How long until you come to my area?|
|That depends--if you can show that there are 6 people interested in our service for your area, we can connect you as a local wireless provider! You would serve as the connection point for your neighbors and receive reduced price service. Otherwise, check back to the web site often as we are expanding rapidly throughout the Southern York County area.
|Is your service affected by weather?|
|No! Although there is a measurable signal loss in hurricane type rainstorms or fog, your service is not affected because the system is designed with a "fade margin" so the bandwidth delivered by the digital signal is not affected. Remember that your satellite system that occasionally goes out during the rain is receiving a signal through thousands of miles and our signal goes through less than 10 miles.
|Can I be a beta tester in my area?|
|Sign up now and we will keep your name for when we are expanding to your area. Beta testers receive free installation and use our equipment for free during the test period. Testers are under no obligation to use the service once it becomes available.|
That's the spirit. LOL.
That wasn't my intent, it was just to show that if a market exists someone will figure out a way to serve it and hopefully make money doing it. No need to "force" companies into serving these areas at a loss and then passing the costs off to other customers.
The companies are already forced to do that. They have to sell access to their lines for less than cost. That's is why they want the deregulation in the first place. The forced upgrades are not something the companies asked for but they are willing in return for the deregulation.