The market failed rural kids: poor rural broadband has created a "homework gap"

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I have not seen the phrase “dingo babysitters” before, but it is the perfect characterization of the Trump administration’s relationship to the United States.


The idea is not likely to work, for the reason that high frequency equipment is horribly expensive, unless it is built by the millions. The rural school market is too small.
You can do wifi link for 100$ (both ends), other frequencies cost 10 times as much for the same. Or you use LTE, the child modem costs about 100$ and the base station a lot more. Which means you simply use regular LTE and force a better connection fee on the telcos for school use.

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From what my kids are assigned, a lot of this is busywork. Some of it might be useful for students needing remediation.* But a lot of it is just not very pedagogically sound. And a fair chunk of it is poorly-produced garbage.

*Yeah, the venn diagram of those poorly served by broadband and those who need remediation overlaps. But students needing remediation need teachers more than they need web activities where they click the falling letter, add the falling numbers, or take a five-question T/F quiz on a picture/story book.


A recent FCC proceeding was flooded both by comments from educator technologists describing the educational costs of the homework gap…

El oh ell, I’ll bet those comments were full of “data” and other teacher stuff! Like that’s going to make a difference!

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The market has not failed rural communities. The “market” is a capitalist beast that pursues profit, nothing more. There’s no profit in providing telecomms to rural communities. We have failed these communities (and not just students, but also rural businesses and first responders and everyone else that needs first-rate telecomms) because we have fooled ourselves into thinking that there’s a market solution. There isn’t, rural telecomms is a money-losing proposition. Screw the telecomms, don’t look to them for answers. We need to enact a rural telecomm act, and make sure that everyone in America has high speed internet. That would make America great, or at least significantly better.


Yup. The U.S. Federal government has failed in yet another of its duties, looking after the people by doing or providing what states, localities, and industry either can not or will not.


The far right is working to insure it’s survival by creating a generation of uneducated voters.


It’s a John Oliver reference…


Ah, thanks. I like John Oliver, he improves my Monday nights. I guess I missed that episode.

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It doesn’t help that in TN, the congress-critter that is the apple of the eye of big telco (Marsha Blackburn) just got elected to the Senate. She took more money from them than any of them. I don’t understand why people vote against their own interests.

Blackburn single-handedly kept the fiber folks in Chattanooga from expanding their network. It would have forced Comcast to act like a real customer-oriented company. So they bought her off. She responded enthusiastically.

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The only reason these communities have electricity and telephone is because of New Deal programs that Republicans have hated for more than 80 years and have, at last, gotten the power (and critical mass of shamelessness) to tear down.


According to the market fundamentalists, they’re voting against their own interests. According to behavioral economics, they are voting for higher priorities, specifically maintaining their relative social status (which depends on keeping lower classes subordinate.)

Ironic, isn’t it?

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