October 13, 2011 |

Internet not as affordable as it could be

Local Internet service is not as fast or as affordable in the community of Haines as it could be, despite claims to the contrary reported in your recent article quoting an Alaska Power & Telephone representative.

For $50 per month within the community of Haines, one gets a mere 256K internet speed of service. Yet if one lives outside the AP&T area locally, Starband satellite Internet service offers 1.5 megabytes of service to folks for $50/month (and no set up costs) through a rural Internet service program. That’s six times the speed for the same price.

Four megabytes of service from AP&T costs $100/month. Only 8 percent of Internet customers in Haines are willing and/or able to pay this amount. One megabyte of service from AP&T costs $80 per month. Only 12 percent of local customers are paying that.

It’s time for AP&T to reevaluate its price structures. The borough assembly should encourage them to do so. With more than 600 business licenses in the Haines Borough, more affordable and faster Internet speed to local customers being served by AP&T would be a definite boost to the local economy by helping local businesses service their customers with a faster, more affordable Internet speed.

Folks in Fairbanks, Juneau, and Anchorage have more affordable, faster speed because there are multiple service providers in those areas allowing for competition to keep their rates more affordable. AP&T has a monopoly in the Haines area. They can do better and they should.

Kathleen Menke