Rural Uptake of Technology

Two posts this morning crossed my desk and I thought I’d just comment briefly on something neither of them talked about.

The first was MG Siegler’s iTunes 11 article at TechCrunch. Go ahead and read it if you like, but I’m going to pull out a choice quote anyway.

Again, it works a lot better than the previous versions of iTunes for this, though performance still leaves a bit to be desired. For example, clicking a track to play it from the cloud always seems to result in a couple-to-few second delay. Not huge, but not as fast as say, Rdio.

He does mention the “performance issues” a few more times, but more on that later.

Finally I saw another article on Ars Technica titled The rest of the Internet is too slow for Google Fiber. I didn’t read much of the article, but the idea of an ISP being too slow for the rest of the internet blends in quite well with what Siegler was saying and what I’m going to write about.

In a time and place where you can get almost limitless amounts of information at any time, we’re very quickly getting into a technology disparity gap that is going to end up rivaling the wealth gap we continue to hear so much about. It has always been there (sound familiar) but it is getting worse (now I’m just playing with you).

The main issue right now is the lack of wired bandwidth to rural communities. It is sad to see smaller communities seemingly accept cable and DSL as acceptable “broadband” solution for every business. The lack of high-speed, wired, fiber bandwidth is not just a problem for consumers, but for businesses as well.

I think it is fairly safe to say that the world is not going to become less connected than it is right now (barring any unforeseen circumstances), but in order for those new communication platforms and mediums to takeoff, the latency and speed of consumer and business connections need to increase drastically … and nowhere more-so than in rural communities.

I don’t have answers, but putting all of our hopes on wireless technologies isn’t going to cut it. If you want to break the backs of incumbents in almost any industry, you’re going to need to get rural areas up-to-speed or things are never going to get there.

2 Replies to “Rural Uptake of Technology”

  1. I think as we talk about the state of connectivity in rural “Communities” we need to be very clear that the “Community” includes all surrounding areas. I suspect that telcos and policy makers think the community ends at the city limits. We both know this isn’t the case, not by a long shot.

    Myself, I’m willing to support incumbents who push to enable customers. In our area they’ve proven ambivalent/actively hostile to bring customers up to modern standards.

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