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Corona, CA

It is a problem, it's not fixing itself, and it's national.

I have a small business in a 25 year old industrial park in a heavily populated region of the US (Corona, Southern California).

When I started up 17 years ago, less than 1% of business communication in our industry was digital, but I set-up a BBS service over a telephone modem to service customers who were ahead of the curve. Probably about 1 megabyte a year total communication, and 56k speed. Today, 95% of our business data is digital, and it's now several megabytes a day, sometimes 100 meg or more. I'd say about 500 times more digital data today.

While data needs have skyrocketed, small business bandwidth has not. We have been stuck with slow/unstable DSL service for about 10 years. A good day will have us see 384k average speed. IF IT WORKS AT ALL. There is no hope for improvement because the phone company has a captive audience. However, our house is a couple miles away and gets over 3mbps for less money. To move large files, I drive home with a memory dongle...

Yes, there are options, but not very good ones. T1 was $1100/m (today it's $400-700) and it made our phone lines freak out, so we removed it. We now have Hughes Satellite as a backup system, but it's still not that fast, especially upload, which is most of what we do. At least it doesn't crash as much.

Perhaps it will "fix itself", but I can't rely on that forever. Right now, my cellphone is faster than my hardline DSL, so the technology to service this area is certainly there.

Today Broadband is a business utility every bit as critical as phones, electricity, water, or shipping. It's time to move into the 21st century.