Paying More to Get Less

Whatcom County will not attract business or talent without fiber.

Whatcom County will not attract business or talent without fiber.


I want to pass along this excellent chart from MythBusters, who now join the rest of the developed world in telling the truth to the public about the need for fiber ahead of other technologies. In fact, this chart shows that not only does fiber outperform other tech, but it costs less in the long run, too.

The reaction of our local lawmakers to this? They continue to protect their special interest donors and lie to you about it. County Executive Satpal Sidhu has been especially dishonest and arrogant on the topic. He now claims to know more about broadband than (and this is a short list):

The entire county of South Korea ($24/month Gigabit fiber to the home)
The entire country of Japan ($25/month Gigabit fiber to the home)
3. The city of Anacortes ($70/month Gigabit fiber to the home)
4. The city of Mount Vernon
5. Most of China
6. Virtually all of the Nordic countries ($50/month fiber to the home)
7. Mexico ($20/month 200 Mbit fiber to the home)
8. The rest of the developed world in general
9. All the places in America on this map
10. The Fiber Optic Association 
11. Susan Crawford author of “Fiber”
12. Google

I can go on, but you get the picture. America, and especially Whatcom County, are going to miss the technological revolution because of corrupt politicians. Fiber remains reliable and inexpensive to install. It is also a modern necessity.

Satpal and his political pals have all been linked to a local big-telecom donor as I wrote about here. For instance, this donor goes climbing with Mayor Fleetwood. They all are abusing their positions by working against the public interest and ignoring the facts while lining the pockets of their special interest donors. This is why they abandoned us during the pandemic even though the City of Bellingham has an existing, underutilized, public fiber network.

Sharon Shewmake's take on all of this, "It's not in my wheelhouse. I don't care about broadband! Stop bothering me about it!!!" I guess she doesn't care about young people, including young women, getting high-paying STEM jobs either. I could substitute her name with just about any other politician either currently in office or running for election in Whatcom County. Where do the parties find these people?

My God, we still don't even have a Dig Once policy or access to Bellingham’s existing network, even though they've had plans and documents to work from for almost eight years now. Any way you look at it, the evidence is clear for fiber. 

Further reading on the topic can be found in the book "Fiber" by Susan Crawford. I've donated a copy to the library.

About Jon Humphrey

Citizen Journalist • Bellingham • Member since May 23, 2017

Jon Humphrey is currently a music educator in Bellingham and very active in the community. He also has decades of professional IT experience including everything from support to development. He [...]

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