The High-Speed Internet Gap in Southern Dallas

Jim Mitchell of the DMN has an interesting post on their Southern Dallas blog this morning. It talks about the broadband gap, which is defined by Mitchell as “easy access to high-speed information services for some and little or no access for others based on geography, income and population density.”

This is definitely an issue South of I-30. In Council District 4, we have entire neighborhoods that are not served by DSL service, much less a service like U-verse or FIOS. This is despite the fact that we have some neighborhoods of affluence in our District.

I have a friend in Oak Cliff that actually bought the outrageously expensive DirectWay satellite internet service because he works from home and needed high-speed service. The broadband gap is why every computer in the library at places like Kiest library (map) is always reserved for hours in advance. Beyond the library, there are not many ways available to lower-income residents to search for jobs.

I know that President Obama has spoken about the “broadband gap” on occasion, which is also encouraging. Locally, this is an issue that we hope to address in Dallas, and I hope that we can bring companies like AT&T to the table to do so. To limit neighborhoods to dial-up access in 2009, is astonishing. It’s also bad for business.

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6 Responses to “The High-Speed Internet Gap in Southern Dallas”

  1. Rawlins Says:

    Michael, I have had (ATT) DSL for 7 years and I am in the eastern end of District 4 as you know. Two miles south of I-30 and a mile north of Pleasant Grove. So this is news to me. Since I work from my home, not having DSL would be like being a photographer with only a Polaroid.

  2. Glenn Says:

    I first bought a computer about a year and a half ago and at the time my neighborhood did not have AT&T high speed internet. However, you can get Road Runner any where Time Warner serves. Road Runner is expensive because Time Warner understands that not every one has a choice. However, I made calls after calls to AT&T about getting internet service in my neighborhood, West of Corinth in Trinity Heights. When working in my yard I would stop the AT&T trucks and ask when is my neighborhood going to get high speed service. Finally, after all the calls and truck stopping AT&T sent me a letter stated that my neighborhood was ready and high speed was available with them. I talked to my aunt who lives near White Rock Lake and she told me they had just got AT&T high speed in their neighborhood a year before my neighborhood did. Also, I am not sure but does Verizon operate anywhere in South Oak Cliff. Some of the services you stated are offered with Verizon whom I believe operates in the Plano far North Dallas area. Road Runner is with Time Warner and should be available within district 4.

  3. Michael Davis-Dallas Progress Says:

    some areas do have cable internet, but the pricing is out of line when you compare to other services unless you bundle everything. DSL is the only service that can be had cheaply ($10-20).

  4. Rawlins Says:

    I would be very interested in learning where and where not in Southeast Dallas DSL is available. I frankly had never heard any of this, and was one of the first of my friends to get DSL which was ready in my neighborhood very early this century. It is stupid and outrageous for anyone to have to pay for any other option instead of DSL which should be available anywhere land line phone service is routine. I pay about $20 a month since I also have my land line, cell, etc. with ATT. It's what they call bundling all my services into one.

  5. Shawn Williams Says:

    What we need is a map like they used to have for Cell Phone coverage that shows where DSL and High Speed are offered. We have AT&T Uverse here in our neighborhood although DSL is not offered. We also need to find out what the usage rates are in the areas where DSL is offered. I haven't found anyone in AT&T who will work with me on this yet.

  6. Zelda Rose Says:

    I live south of Kiest, and have to use Time Warner for broadband. Overpriced, unreliable, and Lord help you if the weather is bad…AT&T calls me about every other week, and I've told them that until they can offer me U-verse, don't bother. I won't bother with DSL, and satellite TV is not an option for my spouse. Verizon FiOS? HA! I moved here from a rural town near New Orleans three years ago. We not only had Time Warner, we also had AT&T DSL, and an independent cable system with fiber and broadband at a reasonable price. But then, Louisiana is just sooooo backwards compared to a big city like Dallas…

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