The Other Side of the Digital Divide

My name is Dave and I’m proud to be Mike’s father. Prior to 2012, I worked for several decades as a database consultant. I had many well known clients. 2012 was the year that all ended. That year I was involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustained injuries that effectively ended my career overnight.

While I have made significant progress in recovering from that milestone event, my income remains dramatically reduced from that it pre-accident level. Now, past my 65th birthday, my income is literally less than one-tenth of what it used to be. This is not offered as a complaint. It is what it is. Nevertheless, it puts me on the other side of the Digital Divide.

When I was working as a database consultant, I purchased a luxury RV as my mobile base for consulting contracts. Depending on the length of the contract, after some period of months I would relocate my trailer to the location of the next consulting engagement. While my trailer is still my home, it is now relocated far less often.

After the accident the trailer was located in Indian Springs, Nevada, a village of fewer than 1,000 inhabitants and about an hour north of Las Vegas. Internet service is difficult to obtain in that location. The cable company abandoned Indian Springs long ago and satellite-based service is expensive, slow and unreliable. The only real option is the DSL service offered by AT&T.

When I signed up for AT&T’s DSL service, I found it too to be slow and unreliable. I also found that the price of the service steadily crept up over time with the expiry of confusing promotional offers, the appearance of unexplained charges on my bill and other surprises. In response to the chronic reliability issues, I even purchased a second DSL line as a backup. Clearly, that aggravated the cost problem.

Seeing optical fiber being installed along the nearby highway, while in Indian Springs I even entertained the idea of offering internet service to my neighbors who were experiencing the same issues. However, research showed that the cost of obtaining internet service as the basis for this offering would be prohibitively expensive. I sustained the high cost and poor reliability of AT&T’s DSL all of my years in Indian Springs.

More recently, I relocated my trailer to Henderson, Nevada, a city contiguous with Las Vegas and the second largest city in the state. My trailer is now located in a small trailer park where the only practical option for internet was CenturyLink’s DSL service. This service proved to be slow and unreliable. Like AT&T’s service in Indian Springs, I was on my own for installation. My repeated concerns about speed and reliability always attracted their conclusion that my wiring was the problem.

Also with CenturyLink the cost consistently crept up; again with the expiry of promotional offers, unexplained charges and other mysteries. My search for solutions finally uncovered a less expensive plan offered by CenturyLink to lower income customers. That plan was never brought to my attention by CenturyLink themselves. After repeated correspondence with their head office, I was finally able to take advantage of this plan.

As you can see, being on the other side of the Digital Divide can be a frustrating and expensive experience, one that inflicts poor internet service and shows little hope for improvement at the hands of existing internet service providers. As a result, this is one of the prime motivations for our creation of NetRango.

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    The Other Side of the Digital Divide | NetRango

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