Chambers, the CEO of Cisco opines on GigaOM about the necessity of provisioning true broadband as part of the Obama economic stimulus package. Just as I am in favor of a big investment in high speed rail, I am definitely in favor of a high speed data highway for the country.
“If 100 Mbps at home seems ambitious, consider this: Japan and South Korea are already reaching that level. According to a forthcoming research paper by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, South Korea — a country with 1/6th the population of the United States — has almost as much Internet traffic. That’s because they’re already operating at average speeds of 49 Mbps.
In the U.S., ITIF projects that high-speed connections to the home would increase the number of telecommuters to 19 million by 2012. That would save 1.5 billion hours of commute time — and reduce gasoline consumption by 5 percent. It is a green technology, one that can help us kick our oil habit.”
I have telecommuted since 1988 when I started the New England bureau of a national magazine in my Boston bedroom. From 9600 bps Hayes Compatibility to my present DSL connection courtesy of Verizon (and as the first residential ISDN account on Cape Cod way back in the early early 90s), I would dearly love a surfeit of bits flowing my way. Would faster connections mean an economic boon for an economically challenged hinterland like Cape Cod? To some extent — and it certainly would change the nature of the upper Cape from arduous commuter bedroom community to a more normal residential cast with white collar types working from home for Fidelity rather than clogging Route 3 with their Camry’s.
Chambers doesn’t cite the set-aside in the stimulus plan for broadband. I need to go dig that out.