Jack M. Geller, Ph.D, president of the Center for Rural Policy and Development in St. Peter, MN, has a letter at the Hutchinson Leader site: Rural Minnesota shouldn’t be caught on the wrong side of the digital divide.
He looks at attitude changes in getting broadband (vs. dial-up) to rural areas (in 1999, nobody thought much about the issue) and how online activities have changed with faster access. Government and business applications need broadband connections for optimal performance and more and more people are finding personal entertainment and making purchases online.
“The widespread appeal of downloading video and music files, engaging in social networking, watching streaming videos and satisfying one’s personal entertainment needs is hard to overestimate.”
Very true, I’m sure, but I wish he had mentioned the self-publishing aspect. Broadband is a must for podcasting and video blogging and even text blogging applications (like Blogger) have grown enough to be painful over dial-up, often with dropped connections. Given the practice of the broadband duopoly providing fast service to your home and usually very slow speeds back up to the Internet, this is a point that needs to be pushed again and again and again.