AT&T dismissed the idea that providers would redline

doctornemo, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Metafilter, Mar 15, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I first noticed this in the 1980s when I discovered that groceries in the suburbs were way better than the ones in the inner city where I lived. And now it's an internet is a problem I'm living with right now. I live in Casselman, a small town in rural Ontario, and even though fibre-optic internet cable passes right through town we cannot obtain high-speed internet. The phenomenon is known as 'redlining'. According to Wikipedia it's "the practice of denying services, either directly or through selectively raising prices, to residents of certain areas based on the racial or ethnic composition of those areas." Wikipedia's definition is too narrow, of course. "The data... show a clear and troubling pattern: A pattern of long-term, systematic failure to invest in the infrastructure required to provide equitable, mainstream Internet access to residents of the central city (compared to the suburbs) and to lower-income city neighborhoods." This article notes "AT&T dismissed the idea that providers would redline or cherrypick communities, and legislators apparently believed them." Of course, that's exactly what happens - in the U.S., in Canada, and around the world.

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