Georgia’s massive Internet victory last week is truly a game changer when it comes to the Internet and communication, especially for local service in remote areas that often have poor to no Internet service.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a group of Georgia mayors, county representatives, and activists banded together to convince state lawmakers to defeat a telecom-backed bill that would have prevented municipalities from creating their own broadband networks. This means that state-run municipalities will be able to build their own Internet service and offer it to the local citizens. This creates cheaper prices and better Internet access to rural areas.
Remote areas with better Internet means better meansof communication, especially with phone services like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). VoIP is Internet calling and is cheaper than landline calling and offers more features like IP faxing and IP video conferencing.
The spread of Internet access to rural areas is especially important as the imminent death of the PSTN (the public switch telephone network) creeps closer. Experts estimate that the PSTN, which works as the nationwide landline phone service infrastructure, will become obsolete by 2018. Without landlines, users will be left with the options of expensive cell phone service, or the cheaper VoIP alternative.
Needless to say, this Georgia victory might very well spread to other counties that have low Internet availability. According to a study done by PEW, roughly one-third of Americans who make less than $30,000 don’t have access to broadband Internet. If the local counties decide to create their own communication service, these places will not only have access to the Internet, but will also have access to cheaper phone service, cheaper international service, and better work tools for remote working.
VoIP is the modern means of cheaper communication. A quarter of the US population already use VoIP, with this number growing every year. Many of these VoIP users are downloading VoIP apps to their smartphones, which allows them to take their cheap phone plans wherever they go. Cities with better local networks will make it easier for mobile VoIP users to stay connected at home, at work, or on the go.
Other states and cities beyond Georgia are leading the way for cheap, if not free, Internet access. For instance, Google has recently worked with Kansas City, Kansas and Palo Alto, California to bring free WiFi throughout the two cities to test out a larger public WiFi service.
High tech cities with cheap VoIP access is the wave of the future, and legal successes like the one in Georgia prove that the need for better service will win out over the interests of the restrictive and expensive competition.
Jennifer Cuellar writes about technology, VoIP, and phone service developments for MyVoIPProvider.com