Archive for Cleveland

Broadband for $780 a year — take it or leave it

Is 4%-5% of your entire income a reasonable price to pay for home Internet access?

That’s the “broadband issue” for two out of every five Cleveland households who survive on annual incomes below $20,000.

As we detailed in our last post, AT&T is now billing its home customers about $65 a month for wireline broadband access at any download speed from 6 Mbps up to 100 Mbps. That adds up to $780 a year… the same price charged by Charter Spectrum for its 100 Mbps service, the cheapest it offers.

So the monthly cost of standalone Internet service from one of the city’s two home wireline providers is either:

  • $55 a month for a very slow connection from AT&T (download speed between 768 Kbps and 5 Mbps), or
  • $65 a month for any faster connection — from 6 Mbps up to 100 Mbps — from either AT&T or Charter Spectrum.

Are there cheaper wireless alternatives? Nope. Satellite Internet is more expensive, not less, and has serious data limits. Using a mobile data connection to provide home wifi, if you use 20 Gb or more of data per month (and you will!), costs as much or more.

40% of all Cleveland households had incomes below $20,000 in 2016. 31% had incomes below $15,000.

Paying $780 a year for broadband would take at least 4%-5% of those households’ total incomes.

That’s on top of all the traditional necessities — gas, electric, voice telephone, etc.

Helps explain why we’re one of the nation’s worst connected cities, doesn’t it?  And why the map of home broadband access in Cleveland looks like this?

300 from across U.S. turn out for Net Inclusion 2018

Professor Susan Crawford addresses Net Inclusion 2018. (NDIA photo by Valda Lewis Photography)

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s annual conference, Net Inclusion 2018, wrapped up Thursday after three days of workshops, tours and networking that drew three hundred participants to Cleveland from twenty-seven states, DC and Canada.

The keynote speaker was Harvard Law Professor Susan Crawford, former Special Assistant to President Obama for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, and a frequently published writer on issues of technology policy and fairness. Professor Crawford spoke following the first showing of a new video, “Dividing Lines”, highlighting the impact of Internet access disparities in American communities; the video features CYC director Bill Callahan describing AT&T’s digital redlining of Cleveland. Read more

“Net Inclusion 2018” in Cleveland April 17-19

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s third big national gathering of digital inclusion practitioners, leaders and advocates will happen in mid-April in downtown Cleveland.

Net Inclusion 2018 will take place at the Global Center for Health Innovation and the Cleveland Public Library’s Main Branch, beginning with pre-conference workshops and tours on Tuesday April 17, and continuing through Thursday April 19th.  More than 250 participants are expected from across the country. Read more