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Today I was writing up an entry for TECH.BLORGE.com and it struck close to home on one of my favorite subjects: Internet speeds.
It will be difficult to talk about this without crossing over with my published piece, but at the same time, I have to be polite over there, here I don’t.
ConnectKentucky is an impressive initiative by the state of Kentucky to bring DSL connectivity to every corner of the state. I applaud this, and considering they were one of the last states to get power to every home, it’s to be saluted. All that being said, there are people in the United States Congress who feel it should be copied nationally.
Okay, let me say why this is good for Kentucky, but bad as a national policy.
Imagine you go out to buy a new computer and the sales person tells you that today, in 2007, you should just settle for Windows 98. Wouldn’t you look at them and tell them to go fly a kite? Wouldn’t you wonder why they are trying to sell you an outdated OS?
That’s what DSL is.
On a good day, DSL gets up to 1.5mbps, and while that may be good enough for most people, as a national standard it’s a joke. As I touched on previously, we are already lagging behind significant portions of the world in speed. I then went on to mention in another post that Robert X. Cringely on PBS.org has been discussing that at the rate things are doing, we will never regain our broadband superiority. At first I thought he might be overstating things, but now I have to agree.
I understand it would be horribly expensive to put in fiber optics in a nation of this size, but to build in obsolesce as the standard just seems like a silly waste of money to me. “Well, this is good enough for the country that invented the Internet, suck it up and deal with it.”
Personally, I think this is a horrible waste of money, far worse than if were to spend a ton of money on what it would take to put it in the latest technology. It is self-defeating and not-worthy of the supposedly most technologically advanced nation in the world.