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Net neutrality would compound rural internet woes

For farmers and rural residents, a net neutrality repeal would compound an already glaring issue – rural broadband access and service provider monopolies. According to the FCC, roughly 710,000 people in rural Wisconsin lack access to higher download speeds. In areas that do have access to high speed internet, the costs of service are often escalated.I recently spoke to a friend in San Francisco who pays $70 a month for 200 mbps (megabits per second). Meanwhile, in Amherst, WI, I pay $113.40 a month for 30 mbps. Our previous internet plan was $90/month without the ability to stream content reliably, so we upgraded. Twenty miles away in Stevens Point, a friend pays $60/mo for 60 mbps… double the speed for almost half the cost.Why the discrepancy?A major factor is choice. In Amherst, and the surrounding area, Amherst Telephone Company runs a monopoly over internet service and they can charge more for less. While service providers in urban areas compete for customers, residents in rural areas often have to take what they can get. If net neutrality is repealed, rural residents may have to pay even more.

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Stevens Point City Times