|[Opinion] BAD INTERNET IN THE BIG CITY|
New York was supposed to be a model for big-city high-speed internet. Here’s how it became a cautionary tale for uneven connectivity.
BY SUSAN CRAWFORD | Wired | Feb 28, 2018
FOR THE PAST six months, life has been miserable for my dry cleaner.
A small business in Greenwich Village, Jerri's ("Cleaning the Village Since 1964!") has relied on Verizon’s DSL internet access for years. DSL is our era's version of dialup. It's excruciatingly low-capacity: Dialup works by dividing frequencies over a copper phone line, making it slow to transmit information. Because of problems with the wiring running to the building, Jerri’s internet access has been sporadic—often making it impossible to access customer accounts.
New York was supposed to be a model for how the modern city could launch high-speed internet for its residents. When the Bloomberg mayoral administration re-signed an agreement with Verizon in 2008, it required that the company wire all residential buildings with its fiber service, FiOS. The agreement was heralded by the press as a way of triggering competition— the presence of Verizon’s fiber product would end the local monopoly of Time Warner Cable, now Spectrum, which provides internet access over a different, lower-capacity wire called hybrid fiber-coaxial. Cable internet access dominates most cities, but it often loses market share to more reasonably priced fiber offerings.
fac: about eight years ago I posted Message 26769054 describing conditions a stone's throw away from the Greenwich Village block Susan described above...