This is a personal issue to me since our neighborhood in Cherryville is still waiting for wired Internet. There are only seven homes, which are not profitable to warrant bringing in the infrastructure.
I just listened to a podcast interview with Susan Crawford, a Harvard law professor and author of Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution… For the book, she researched the conditions of fibre optic networking in Asia (Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Korea), comparing what she learned with conditions here in the U.S., as revealed by interviews with citizens and government officials at the local, state and federal levels.
Among her surprising statements were that,
- OECD adoption of Fibre, the U.S. ranks 25th of 36 nations.
- The World Economic Form ranks the U.S. as 27th among nations regarding their technical preparedness for future industries.
She says that we are suffering from a number of digital divides, among them are divides between urban and rural, rich and poor, and the gap between the U.S., and Asian and Nordic countries.
First it was deregulation of the telecommunications industry in 2004. The competition has concentrated on profitable urban areas, especially affluent sections where high priced services are sold.
Second is big-money oriented governments, such as my state’s General Assembly, who passed a law in 2010 preventing municipalities from creating and running their own fibre networks. This was a response to the town of Wilson establishing their celebrated GreenLight network, which I wrote about here: /?p=4329