If you live in an area where slow Internet is expensive, and not-as-slow Internet is even more expensive, then you're in the same boat as millions of Americans. The U.S. is ranked 24th in the world for average Internet speeds.
After calling for a Bill of Rights for personal privacy and a 30-day limit for companies to report data breaches, the president continued his push for legislation in the digital world. President Obama announced yesterday that he plans on revealing new measures that could make the Internet cheaper.
He plans to write the FTC about state laws that block governments and smaller communications company from launching competing companies to established, local Internet Service Providers.
He hopes to offer grants and loans to rural ISPs to encourage competition.
Depending on when you're reading this, Obama may or may not already have announced the details for his plan to make the Internet cheaper. His announcement will come from Cedar Falls, Colorado, and that's for a very good reason.
Cedar Falls Utilities is an ISP that serves Cedar Falls' 40,000 residents with Internet speeds starting at $45.50 per month with download speeds of 50 Mbps. The national average, for reference, comes out to about 32.1 Mpbs.
If you live in a rural area, then chances are good that your Internet options might be very limited. That might be because your state might be 1 of 20 with laws that ban, or heavily roadblock, small-scale Internet providers from getting started.
Ideally, this legislation would level the competitive playing field for startup ISPs. What I'm not so sure about, however, is whether or not the federal government should be telling businesses how to operate after the healthcare.gov disaster.