retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Federal Communications Commission dedicated $9.2 billion to fund construction of rural broadband networks over the next decade, in what the agency’s leader called the biggest-ever U.S. step to extend high-speed internet service."

According to the story, "The providers have 10 years to build the networks, with incentives to do so sooner rather than later. The FCC said the auction covered more than five million homes and businesses in 49 states. In about 85% of locations, the providers promised ultrafast “gigabit” speed, the agency said. Most of the remaining locations would see download speeds of at least 100 megabits a second, capable of large downloads … Among states receiving funding, California topped the list with $695 million, followed by Mississippi at $495 million."

KC's View:

When we talk about the growth of e-commerce here, one of the points often made by readers is that there are folks in this country who simply do not have access to broadband, which puts a ceiling on how much it can grow.

Projects like these, as well as the launch of satellites than can provide high-speed internet to remote areas, will be critical to creating the kind of digital infrastructure that will allow people to do far more than just order stuff online - it gives the country the ability to compete as we move quickly toward the mid-21st century.

I can remember working for a different website something like 25 years ago and a colleague of mine, Gregory Grudzinski, wrote a column entitled "Broadband Changes Everything."  He was right then, he's right now, and it is almost governmental malpractice that these changes have not yet found their way to rural and remote regions of the country.