As promised, the Alabama Broadband Initiative has produced the $1.7 million dollar broadband service map. And the map looks pretty cool. I can see it because I have broadband; Internet users with dial-up won't be nearly so lucky.
SD-13 candidate Greg Varner noted this on his campaign blog:
Additionally, I posted a link to the State’s Connecting Alabama map showing how unconnected District 13 is. (Interestingly, I do not believe dial-up users will be able to view the map because the site’s technology requires faster speed than dial-up can generate.)
That's not the only problem. Want more information from Connecting Alabama? The broadband map page offers links with more info about the different speed tiers and a “what this map means” link but reading it is more than a simple click as they're PDF files. WHY??? Instead of a simple, quick-loading HTML page, users are required to download a PDF file.
But when they do, the learn some very interesting information, like this tidbit on the previous interation from the Connecting Alabama FAQ page. Somebody got a clue during the last year and took down this bit, but it was there in July 2009:
The service maps are also an excellent first step in engaging all providers across the state in a joint effort to identify and solve an issue that is far larger than any one of them.
The ConnectingALABAMA approach takes great care to develop the maps in a way that protects the valuable business information enjoyed by each of the service providers.
Yep. That's Alabama. God forbid that anyone providing a public service would actually have to answer basic questions like:
- Who they serve.
- Where service is available.
- A description of the service.
- A price list.
Are you on dial-up and want to see if broadband is available near you or even in your area? Call a friend who already has it and ask them to look it up for you.