Your Take: So Much Cooler Online

Karlie Justus Marlowe | March 20th, 2010

In Tuesday’s News Roundup, Jim included a link to the Federal Communications Commission plan to bring high speed Internet to the masses.

FCC Chair Julius Genachowsk talked about the agency’s upcoming National Broadband Plan with a “country” spin:

“When I think of those “Country Roads” and “Wide Open Spaces” without broadband, I “Fall to Pieces” and say that’s “Crazy.” We need to address these “Unanswered Prayers.”

“As FCC Chairman, I have friends in high places and “Friends in Low Places,” and I’m pulled to and fro on policy issues, but “I Walk the Line.” That’s because telecomm politics is like a “Ring of Fire.” First I have Senator Rockefeller telling me about a “Coal Miner’s Daughter” who can’t get wireless service in some “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” Next, “I’m on the Road Again” to where “The Grass is Blue” and “A Boy Named Sue” stops me and says we need super-duper fast broadband all the way from “Boulder to Birmingham” – and beyond, to “Galveston” and “El Paso.” He complains that his slow dial-up service can’t get to “Amarillo by Morning” and laments that America has gone round & round for years without a National Broadband Plan and plaintively asks, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”?

“I explain – to the “Boy Named Sue” – that this issue is “Always on my Mind” and the lack of a Plan should not make him “Hurt” or a “Man of Constant Sorrow” with his “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” Instead, I tell him to “Take it Easy ” — “Don’t Rock the Jukebox”…just try to “Keep on the Sunny Side” and dream “Sweet Dreams” — because a National Broadband Plan is coming. Next week.”

In less pun-ny terms, the plan will allow more music lovers to access music online by helping to lower phone bills for people in rural areas. This is especially important to the country genre, as a recent CMA survey found only 50 percent of core country fans have Internet access at home. This is complicated even further by findings that state 42 percent of country music listeners who are currently offline say they are not interested in gaining online access.

Give us your take: What impact do you think this new plan will have on country music sales?

  1. Rick
    March 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

    The limited information provided by the FCC isn’t adequate to draw any sort of conclusions from. I would guess a very high percentage of the country music fans without internet access at this point in time are senior citizens who just don’t care. Most oldsters don’t purchase much new music, so it would have little effect on country music sales.

    Running broadband connections in rural areas with few residents spread over large areas just doesn’t make a whole lot of economic sense. And what if these folks don’t want to pay the monthly fees once they have access? Hmm….

  2. Steve M.
    March 20, 2010 at 11:40 am

    But then again Rick, running electric lines to rural America didn’t make economic sense so power companies refused to do it. It took the New Deal agency, the Rural Electric Administration (REA), to bring electricity to much of rural America (including the South through the cheap government-produced power of TVA).

  3. stormy
    March 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I don’t know that it will help country with its existing fans base, but it will help music in all genres find new fans.

  4. Michelle
    March 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    It isn’t old people only living out in rural areas. All age groups are living in rural areas. I bought some acreage out in BFE that I’m building a house on someday and guess what I’ll be without. I lived here a couple of years before we got broadband and I wouldn’t consider this BFE. Yeah, people will say I don’t want or need it, but all it would take is one person to get it and word would spread rapidly. A lot of people have very long commutes to and from work, but it’s worth it to them to be able to raise their children in a rural area. I chose not to have children, though. I enjoy the peace and quiet of it and I’m a huge animal lover!I’m sure the oldies that have never seen a computer wouldn’t, but they’re really the minority, today. I don’t see why it wouldn’t help country music sales. The majority of people living in BFE rural areas listen to country music. When I go out to my land I bought, if I’m listening to some heavy rock, I make sure I turn it down. I wouldn’t want them to think I worship Satan!LOL

  5. Vicki
    March 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    More will vote for Classic Country performers for Entertainter of the year, etc and on GAC and CMT Top 20.

  6. J.R. Journey
    March 20, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I think it’s great that rural areas will have broadband access. I don’t think wiring the nation up will have a direct effect on music sales, especially country, any time in the near future though.

  7. Matt B.
    March 21, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Having lived in rural areas that didn’t even have Cable access growing up, this is the type of thing that is NEEDED for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is a trend to telecommuting. If you are somebody who telecommutes but you ‘hate’ city life, you’ll likely love the fact that you will soon be able to live where you want.

    For the music connection, I agree with Stormy that it will just increase awareness for many people. It also will give many people more choices as they can stream an online station of their choice.

  8. Michelle
    March 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I don’t “hate” city life. I was raised in a very large city, but I just like going out at night and looking up in the sky at the stars that look like you could reach out and touch them. And I love seeing deer and all kinds of critters that you wouldn’t see in the big city. Where I live now, I have to drive between 60 and 70 miles(one way) to go out to a good restaurant. I’m not complaining, because I prefer it that way. I guess I’m just weird like that!LOL

  9. Vicki
    March 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I know that my parents are avid country fans but live out in the country. My cell phone won’t work in their house. All she can get is dial up and half the time that doesn’t work. So I would be anxious for her to be able to access the internet and know truly what she can vote on. I’d send her links!

  10. stormy
    March 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    My mom lives in a small town that got broadband about three years ago. Prior to that, I was my mom’s source for new music. I would buy her the cds and have them shipped to her. Now I am still her source for music, but it is so much easier to be able to send her links or gift it to her in I-Tunes.

  11. Michelle
    March 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I remember the old dial up. I had it for a good while before we got broadband out here. Believe it or not, I was one of those that said “I don’t need it(broadband)! Cuz I’m stubborn and set in my ways. I’m not OLD either! Now, I could NOT live without it!!! It’s so strange how the town is about 10 miles from here and it took that long to get broadband out here.

  12. Steve M.
    March 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    The NY Times published an editorial on the subject yesterday that I think captured many of the arguments for greater government involvement in the spread of broadband.

  13. Michelle
    March 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    By 2020? They need to hurry the **** up!!

  14. t.scott
    March 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm


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