Berkshire Eagle (Massachusetts, USA) has an excellent editorial about the frustration of trying to get broadband into rural areas.
The situation most clearly illustrates why the unhindered pursuit of corporate profits is not always in everyone’s best interest. Through much of the 20th century, electric and telephone service were treated as vital public services, and the people and the government recognized they were too important to be subject to the pressures of the market or the whims of professional greed.
Significant investment in broadband in rural areas can work. It may take more government involvement or even government ownership but it will result in a stronger economy. Rural Washington has is there already (sorry, NY Times has put the referenced article behind the paywall).
Besides businesses actually locating in rural areas if broadband is available, the workers), who are commuting for hours today, can stay home and work over the Net. Some businesses are already getting this.
How do we jump start the twentieth century and start really using this technology. It becomes hard not to see Qwest-AT&T-Verizon-Comcast and all the rest as giant predator beasts t
hat have lived too long but are too powerful to vanquish. I guess this is where the hero comes in. Or maybe the Gods just get really pissed. Something needs to give.
Let me close with one more quote from the Berkshire piece.
This is what happens when your sole motivation is to report the highest possible profit on the next quarterly earnings statement and government isn’t there to argue for those without a voice.