Redlining high-speed Internet service

Why is Baltimore City a fiber desert?

It appears that Verizon Corporation, the principal provider of telephone and Internet access in much of the U.S., has decided that Baltimore City is not worthy of bringing FIOS fiber optic telephone-Internet service to the city.

Instead, we have copper wires that Verizon clearly would like to abandon if it weren't for the Public Service Commission's oversight of such a fundamental public utility.

The copper wires provide spotty, sub-standard and slow Internet access that makes it difficult to access websites or download streaming movies or open large business files.

FIOS is available in all of the suburban counties around Baltimore, but not in the city itself. The apparent decision to red-line the majority African-American city constitutes a major obstacle to economic development and progress toward social justice.

Access to FIOS is fundamental to social stability and upward mobility for groups that historically have been deprived of the resources and skills needed to prosper.

Why have the leaders of Baltimore City and Maryland failed to confront Verizon over this issue?

Robert Moses Shapiro, Baltimore

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