High Speed Rural Broadband: Don't Bother to Build It


Source: Forbes
Author: Tim Worstall
Coverage Type: op-ed

[Commentary] There’s the usual cacophony of subsidy junkies clamoring that we should go build a huge system of fast broadband that will reach every hovel in the land, no matter how rural. The questions is, as with the building of any other form of infrastructure, is cabling the nation actually worth it? Remember the important point here: infrastructure does not make us rich. People using infrastructure to do new things, or to do old things better or more cheaply might, but the cables, roads, railways and bridges of infrastructure do not, in and of themselves, impart wealth. Of course they don't, for they are a cost. We do have to pay to build them after all. There’s no benefit to be had from it so why bother and why tax everyone to provide something that doesn't improve matters?

Comments

Tim,

Bandwidth is not the only variable. You must also take into consideration other qualities such as reach, connected nodes, connected networks, transit delay, DSN name resolution, QoS, resiliency, reliability, consistency, monitoring performance as well ability to protect against cyberattack. All of items above including but not limited to bandwidth contribute to the potential economic value of an infrastructure asset. You must also consider the Potential Social value if the network were also used by public safety, national security, electric, water, gas and other critical infrastructure industries and consumers instead building multiple overlapping networks at the taxpayer/consumers expense. Why are their 10 or more redundant and overlapping Critical Infrastructure networks in any given city? Why can't traditional Telcos build a networks to meet the needs of Electric Utilities? Why can't traditional Telcos build a networks to meet the needs of Water Utilities? Why can't traditional Telcos build a networks to meet the needs of School Districts? Why can't traditional Telcos build a networks to meet the needs of Land Mobile Radio? Why can't traditional Telcos build a networks to meet the needs of the Sheriffs Department and the Police department at the same time? Why does the Electric Utility need to build separate networks for meters, SCADA, and its substations on top of the network their customers are building the the very same well site?

Ask why?

EvelBoDevil on August 29, 2012 - 1:02am.

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