Jonathan Pierce: Declare the internet an essential utility for all | TheUnion.com
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Jonathan Pierce: Declare the internet an essential utility for all

Notice how your internet performance has been really spotty in the last months (even if it was ever particularly good)? With a business line at home, Comcast support told me that it’s “internet wobble caused by the pandemic” on all lines in our area and in all major cities every day since June. Too much line demand.

Despite degraded performance, support “has heard of no plan from corporate about improving system throughput.”

Can you imagine business functioning here without reliable, fast internet available — which many local residents have never had? Today, is internet service anything other than what electricity, water, fire departments, and sewer are, essential services or utilities? Republican functionaries, the head of the FCC, recruited from Big Media conglomerates like Verizon, bitterly oppose internet traffic being regulated as a utility. Once regulated, there would be performance and universal access requirements cutting into the oligarchs’ profits. Anathema.

It was only through lawsuit and the threat of takeover by government of PG&E that it has started to get its act together (we hope!).

We want community businesses to survive and thrive again. Vote out the oligarchs’ minions, the Republicans. Let’s get internet service declared an essential utility for all.

Jonathan Pierce, MD

Nevada City


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