If you’re reading this, I bet you don’t.
If you live in Broadlands (or Allerton or Longview), your internet options are quite limited. We just don’t have the land-based fast options, such as cable, DSL, or fiber-optic internet, available in larger communities. Instead, our options are limited to the obsolete and slow dial-up through telephone lines, or expensive and problematic wireless or satellite internet. Neither is sufficient to meet the needs of our community.
Dial-up, as everyone knows, is by today’s standards extremely slow and inadequate to load today’s increasingly complex webpages. Ever try watching a video over dial-up? Forget it. Dial-up also ties up the telephone line while in use. It also requires having a telephone line, so for those of us who would like to forego a home telephone in favor of cell phones, that is impossible without also giving up the internet.
Satellite and wireless providers promise higher speeds and reliable service. However, in many cases, such providers deliver neither. First, these providers typically charge high installation fees — hundreds of dollars. The monthly fees are similarly unreasonable — some can be as much as $60 or more, monthly, for access. Second, in the case of satellite, the internet signals must travel thousands and thousands of miles to the satellite, and then back again to the user’s computer, which causes a noticeable delay when browsing or using interactive web features. Service can be interrupted during storms, windy weather, or for no apparent reason at all. Moreover, this type of access is sight-dependent. This means that, unless there is a direct line-of-sight between your receiver and the satellite or signal tower, you won’t get a signal. Something as simple as a tree can block access.
The State of Illinois recently announced $11 million in funding for increasing high-speed internet access in northern Illinois. The State has a website, called Connect Illinois, where you can report your lack of high-speed internet access, and you should do so. Otherwise, the State will not know our towns exist, let alone that we have no good internet solutions. The Connect Illinois site is located here. There should be a large red button on the top right hand side saying ‘Broadband is not available to me yet.’ Click that, and it will take you to a short fill-in page where you can describe your internet access. (If you have trouble finding it, here is a direct link).
If we don’t bring our area’s internet problems to the attention of the State, nothing will be done. I encourage everyone in Broadlands, and those in the nearby communities of Allerton and Longview, to take a minute to let the State know about our poor internet service.