IBM Helps Bring Broadband To Rural America
turbotodd 100000388Y Comments (2) Visits (3153)
I grew up in rural area in north Texas, so I know what it's like to be discriminated against by those big city hustlers.
For example, Domino's pizza wouldn't deliver to our house.
I know, it's a tragedy. I used to work for Domino's. It always struck me as completely ironic that I could deliver their pizzas to others' houses, but I couldn't deliver them to my own.
Somehow we survived.
Living out in the country, we were also on different utilities from all my city dwelling friends.
And we had to drink well water.
Not the kind you drop a bucket down into. It wasn't that bad. But, it was water from a well.
So I was excited to see IBM announcing today's deal with the International Broadband Electric Communications corporation today to have IBM install Broadband over Power Line (BPL) networks at electric coops throughout the eastern US.
I still have friends who live in rural America, and when I visit them I'm often shocked at their inability to get reliable Internet access.
For me, as for so many others, Internet access these days is kind of like oxygen.
How do you live without it?
So this announcement is encouraging in terms of spreading more pervasive access in rural areas. Those of us where Internet access is as pervasive as oxygen, it's very easy for us to take it for granted.
But go somewhere where it's not so pervasive, and you'll very quickly realize how much you miss it.
In terms of scope, there are currently over 900 electric cooperatives in the U.S. providing 45% of the total electric grid, and covering 75% of the land mass.
By leveraging the existing assets -- power lines -- IBM and the IBEC will be able to quickly and inexpensively deploy broadband access to those long underserved areas.
As IBEC CEO Scott Lee said about the announcement, "Americans in rural areas of the country trail their urban and suburban counterparts in broadband availability."
"This capability will play a critical role in rural health, education, and economic development, while closing the digital divide that exists between well served and underserved America."