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Connecting to the "Net'

((Banner: Small Town Life ))
((Reporter: Calla Yu))
((Camera: Suli Yi))
((Adapted by: Zdekno Novacki ))
((Language Service: VOA Mandarin))
((Map: Corning, Iowa))
((Main characters: 2 female; 2 male))
((Pop up Banner: Some19 million Americans, mostly in rural areas, have no broadband
internet access.))
((Anne Greenwalt, Carver's Ridge Engraving))
Because our employees are experiencing, you know, 20 to 25 percent a day in
downtime, due to the internet speed. They're not being able to effectively do their work
as efficiently as possible.
We have been waiting for a year and half to have fiber brought to us. They just say that
we're not within their territory and they don't have to provide a service.
((Peter Orazem, Iowa State University))
If it's an issue of giving service that’s necessary for public safety, then there’s a very
strong social argument or public argument. So, hospitals, the police, homeland defense,
perhaps other emergency services that are provided in the area. It's a little bit more
difficult to make an argument that, then you also need to subsidize internet service to an
individual household.
((Anne Greenwalt, Carver's Ridge Engraving))
The total package will probably be around five thousand dollars by the time it's brought
to us, installed, and all the fiber and things are done within the building.
I want to say packages are going to be around the 80 to 100 dollar range, depending on
what speed you get. We will be able to get up to, I want to say, 100 megabits per
second or faster.
((Shari Vanden Heuvel, Alpha Omega Publications))
Senator Chuck Grassley, we emailed him with just one time. I told him about our dream
of pursuing, buying this farm property, building a new home out here, wanting to work
from home, but was not able to because internet provider at that point did not have high
speed. “It will happen, I'm just not sure when”. But he said this Connect America funding
was made available to internet providers through all of Iowa.
((Greg Gray, Windstream Communications))
If we plowed fiber to every one of these, you're probably talking several hundred
thousand dollars. It could be in a million dollars in some of these exchanges, just to
serve two, three, four or five customers.
((Peter Orazem, Iowa State University))
At the end of the day, the customers are going to be paying for that, one way or
another. It may be through property tax or it may be through service subscription. Now,
if it's only relatively high income people who are the subscribers, they're the ones who
are then being subsidized by the people who don't buy the service, who are paying
through their property tax.
((Greg Gray, Windstream Communications))
We currently use the CAF funding, the Connect America funds. We’ve been in that
program for several years, been very active in it. And it helps us fund projects like this.
Had we not had that funding, I’m not sure we would have been able to reach out and
serve all these rural customers.