A month or so ago I ran across some interviews of Reed Hastings, Founder and CEO of NETFLIX. He was at the D9 Conference and also on Charlie Rose. He spoke about how he was on a surfing trip in Costa Rica or Puerto Rico (I forget which). He was driving down this unpaved road and once he got to the surfing location he was surprised to find a super bitchin DSL connection. Turns out that the government had put wiring the nation ahead of paving roads.
This past Friday when the President tried to give some hope to the God awful jobs number that came out he spoke about getting infrastructure jobs going. Paving roads, repairing bridges, etc. He did not mention digging holes to lay fiber optic cable. He did not mention building cell towers. Why not? This other country can make it a priority why can’t America?
We’re in a Global Information Economy last time I checked. This could be the 1 big infrastructure initiative in this century like the Federal Highway Act of 1956 or the building of the railroads in the 1800’s (which was driven mainly by private industry). Why can’t the federal government make high-speed internet or more specifically fiber optic cable a federal initiative?