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The Internet

Idaho Gets Serious About Broadband 215

prostoalex writes "In an effort to boost the economy state of Idaho legislated tax credit for companies, who were investing in broadband Internet infrastructure. According to the latest news, the plan worked quite well, and about 150 thousand people can soon take advantage of tax-sponsored buildout. Speaking of wiring rural areas with cheap Internet access, there was an article in NY Times ($free_registration_quote), where Bill Gates admitted that in many cases building Internet in the rural area just speeded up the exodus of farmers, who were able to find a job somewhere else."
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Idaho Gets Serious About Broadband

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  • "In an effort to boost the economy state of Idaho legislated tax credit for companies, who were investing in broadband Internet infrastructure." Huh?
    • "In an effort to boost the economy the state of Idaho legislated tax credit for companies, who were investing in broadband Internet infrastructure."
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "In an effort to boost the economy, the state of Idaho legislated tax credit for companies (no comma) who were investing in broadband Internet infrastructure."
        • Re:English please? (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          "In an effort to boost the economy, the state of Idaho legislated tax credit for companies investing in broadband Internet infrastructure."

          Are we playing a game of /. telephone?
        • "In an effort to boost the economy, the state of Idaho legislated tax credit for companies (no comma) who were investing in broadband Internet infrastructure."

          Actually: "In an effort to boost the economy, the state of Idaho legislated a tax credit for companies that are investing in broadband Internet infrastructure."

          I'm not wild about this use of "legislate," either. Suggest "enacted." Style book: is "Internet" still capitalized?

          (Are we charging for are time? :)
    • Re:English please? (Score:2, Informative)

      by section321 ( 191303 )
      In an effort to create jobs and properity, the state of Idaho will reduce the tax burden of companies that buy routers and lay fiber in the process of connecting to the internet.

      Section321

      La La Parties [lalaparties.com]
    • by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @10:04PM (#4630451)
      "In an effort to look like they have something to say, a dozen /.'s post nitpicky bullshit about minor gramatical faults."

      Not everyone grows up speaking english!

  • by GoatPigSheep ( 525460 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:01PM (#4629995) Homepage Journal
    I don't see how broadband would boost the economy, except for creating (likely not too many) jobs in the broadband sector. Almost all the advantages of broadband are related to entertainment anyway... Unless you are downloading lots of videos or playing games (not stuff that helps the economy) a standard ISDN line is fine for internet access.
    • Or satallite internet as one farmer I know does. (Ok, in rural Washington State but he is still 8 miles out of town and is too far for most high speed internet. They did have ISDN but had lots of trouble with it not always working.)

      The article also says southern Idaho, so if you live in the north part of the state, it doesn't really do anything for you yet.
    • I disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Brigadier ( 12956 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:14PM (#4630055)

      broad band is an amenity that many companies and individuals require. Typically those home users requiring broad band are tech savvy. Thus making them valuable capitol. Also many small businesses are now at a point where broad band is a requirement. I'm a Admin for an Architecture firm with several sites and our locations that do not have accessibility to broad band are a pin in our side. relocating the office was a valid option until Allegiance gave us a T1 for half the cost of the local Telco.
    • by p0rnking ( 255997 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:26PM (#4630110) Homepage
      "a standard ISDN line is fine for internet access." I dunno about you's down south, but up here, 64kbps ISDN, costs more that our dsl or cable internet access. Also, with ISDN, you need another phone line, which costs even more. So personally, ISDN, isn't even an option. Here's an example of some of the pricings: Single Channel ISDN: Setup Fee: $220 Monthly Rate: $280 Dual Channel ISDN: Setup Fee: $220 Monthly Rate: $400 So, if they can get broadband cheaper, it would allow more business to get online, or get a faster connection online, which I doubt would hurt the economy ...
    • by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:57PM (#4630421) Homepage Journal
      I don't see how broadband would boost the economy, except for creating (likely not too many) jobs in the broadband sector.

      Many non-tech businesses require broadband Internet access. For example, a retailer of outdoor apparel might want to set up a modest e-commerce site. A patent attorney might need to do online patent searches. I know someone that moved from Missouri because he runs a small business and could not get broadband. He is now in Northern, VA.

      Broadband is like electricity and running water for most businesses today. It's not a luxury. It's a basic utility that they need in order to function.

      • Many non-tech businesses require broadband Internet access. For example, a retailer of outdoor apparel might want to set up a modest e-commerce site. A patent attorney might need to do online patent searches. I know someone that moved from Missouri because he runs a small business and could not get broadband. He is now in Northern, VA.

        Broadband in this context is DSL, which is a consumer service - typically upstream speed is much lower than downstream, and contention is between 20:1 and 50:1. This sort of service is designed for people who pull lots of content down, but don't send much back, and who don't require a guaranteed minimum bandwidth availability at any one time.

        It might be suitable for connecting an office that downloads content and only sends email back, but it's not suitable for anyone running a business-critical server. Tell your friend he needs a T1 (or a fractional T1). This will give you the upstream capacity you need for serving a web site.
        • Broadband in this context is DSL, which is a consumer service - typically upstream speed is much lower than downstream, and contention is between 20:1 and 50:1.

          Verizon offers a 1.5 Mbps downstream and 768 Kbps upstream DSL service. That's more than adequate for many small businesses. I'm not saying that it will handle ebay, but an office with a handful of lawyers or realtors is well-served by that. So is one that has a web-based mail server or some other low-bandwidth type of web content. When the site typically has two or fewer users, it'll do fine.

          It might be suitable for connecting an office that downloads content and only sends email back, but it's not suitable for anyone running a business-critical server.

          It depends on the traffic. The fellow I know sells a high-dollar, specialized network component. The number of hits he gets per day is measured in the tens, not hundreds. Fast DSL is more than adequate for his needs.

          For many businesses the important thing is an always-on broadband connection, not a quality-of-service guaranteed, high-dollar, T-x connection. They need more speed than ISDN and dial-up, but not the type of connection enjoyed by Walmart, General Motors, or Sears.
  • Subj?? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Qrlx ( 258924 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:02PM (#4630001) Homepage Journal
    WTF is this article about? The "Power of the Interweb" is turning dirt farmers into city slickers?

    How did we go from taxpayer-financed broadband to a Hyperlinked Bill Gates Quote?

    I think I know what happened between Michael reading the article on NYT and adding this story to slashdot. It's called marijuana. And I'm jealous.
    • WTF is this article about? The "Power of the Interweb" is turning dirt farmers into city slickers?

      FYI I am from and grew up in Idaho and have known exactly one farmer (well, and his wife). My parents, which still live there, have had broadband for years.
      DirecTV has major DirectDSL operations in Idaho. Idaho is the location of the headquarters of Micron and of large portions of HP as well as many other tech companies.

      What was that about dirt farmers?
      • Re:Subj?? (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'm an apostate midwesterner myself, and I'm always amazed at how ignorant the coasts seem to be about what life is like there. I've run into more bass ackwards rusty-monster-truck-with-ten-foot-high-flag driving dirtballs in self-proclaimed sophisticated New England than in all my years in the midwest. When I moved to Boston, I couldn't even get cable TV! Life in the fast lane means three hour a day commutes so you can live someplace affordable where your family won't get mugged. If you're lucky, you might even find a house that has grass and trees!

        Cities suck.
      • I have known exactly one farmer (well, and his wife).

        I think I may have heard this joke. In what order did you know the farmer and his wife? :)

        .

    • Qrlx wrote:

      > WTF is this article about? The "Power of the
      > Interweb" is turning dirt farmers into city
      > slickers?
      >
      > How did we go from taxpayer-financed broadband to
      > a Hyperlinked Bill Gates Quote?

      Allow me to explain. You see, .Net and all things built on top of .Net (like the next version of Windows) need broadband. The content streamed to Mr. Gates' shiny new Media PCs needs broadband. Mr. Gates' plan for total world domination needs broadband.

      Of course, we do not yet have world-wide broadband (slight oversight on Mr. Gates' part). Due to its proximity to Microsoft and the wisdom of its government, the blessed state of Idaho has chosen the broadband path to prosperity and Gates servitude. All of Idaho's farmers will now leave their farms and march into the city, to get high paying jobs to afford Mr. Gates' high monthly payments.

      Prosperity and Microsoft servitude will be cut short when Godzilla comes to town. He will smite Microsoft for its evil wrongdoing, and its kingdom will be no more. The farmers will be free to return to their farms and their most honorable professions (they don't get enough credit for their most essential work in producing food for us).

      Whether broadband will remain in place is pretty much up to Godzilla. My guess is it will be left in place if his next game requires it, or Toho deigns to sell decent copies of its movies online to us in the US.

      Shinoda: "The age of Millennium."
      Io: "What does that mean?"
      Shinoda: "A thousand year kingdom. It wants to create a home for itself. There is one flaw in its plan: Godzilla."
      "Godzilla 2000 Millennium" (Japanese version)
  • by MacAndrew ( 463832 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:07PM (#4630017) Homepage
    Not that many years ago the federal gov't undertook to guarantee to rural customers telephone service, and electricity, and in the very early days postal service. The idea is that while these services are more expensive to provide and won't develop from market pressures alone, providing them at equal prices to rural areas is both just and, in the long run, good for the country.

    Would a National Internet Access Initiative be a good thing? Or is internet access is some way frivolous, other than for people who work directly in the field? (In other words, its easy to picture why Ma and Pa Kettle need mail, electricity, maybe even cable TV -- but internet?)

    My tentative answer is yes, that it's really just an expansion of telephony. But how ironic that it may result in a "brain drain" from rural areas (NYT article).
    • I know that not having broadband here in my small hometown in New Hampshire (about 700 people) is what is making me want to move out of the area once I graduate from my university next year.

      If I had broadband, would I stay in the area? Yes I would, because it could allow me to run my own business without shelling out insane $$$ for a T1. But judging by the fact that my town doesn't even have cable (of course the next town over has it) it'll take another 10-15 years to get broadband, unless a national rollout plan similar to what was done with the telephone happens.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I disagree with the brain drain aspect. Most of these farmers may be leaving because they are finding a better income level and a better way of life. I don't see this as a bad thing. It's more opportunities, which is what this nation is all supposed to be about.

      If farmers choose to stay, all the more power to them. I went from rural/suburbia to city to city back to rural/suburbia. It was my choice. Now, I do have broadband, but I also have less choices to tech jobs (there are none around here). However, I've found other jobs that earn an income, and if there are less competitors (farmers are an astute group of folks that supplement their income besides farming), fine by me.

      And don't worry--that farm they left, there is someone probably farming it. If not, and someone bought it for the increasing suburbia, it was going to go anyways since present day subsidies plus farming gives crap for an annual income compared to a land payoff.
    • The New York Times says in triumphant and pretended confusion:

      But if superimposed over a map of population decline, it would show that many of these areas are not holding onto people, no matter how wired they become.
      Well, duh, Bill Gates gave them a bunch of M$ grazing machines and MSN. Only Bill Gates can make money like that. "Hurrah!" cry the publishers, "It takes much more than a 2400 baud modem to compete with us now that we've forbiden servers and turned the internet into the World Wide Billboard for our services." You seem to have the same perception problem when you ask:

      Would a National Internet Access Initiative be a good thing? Or is internet access is some way frivolous, other than for people who work directly in the field? (In other words, its easy to picture why Ma and Pa Kettle need mail, electricity, maybe even cable TV -- but internet?)

      You should follow your analogy to it's conclusion. Industry has developed in new places thanks in large part to rurual electricity and telephone services. Sawmills and factories exist closer to timber rather than around tradtional ports and water and coal sources. New ports have been built inland which previously were unviable. Yet the management of those services stayed focused on several older "Empire States" due to, "Location, location, location." Phone services were useful but not enough to really get all the required information out.

      Higher bandwith communications services will doubtlessly decentralize that command structure. There is much less advantage of being some place central when needed information can travel freely. The advantage of being where the resources are will never go away. Getting information to the resources is more important for the health of big companies than getting information from remote locations, but both are good. Better bandwith means being able to move that information to where it's needed when it's needed and it will help put production and management where it's needed.

      In this recession, some companies are going backward in a failed attempt to retreat to the familiar, but this is temporary. Witness Intel who's CEO actually answered his own question about moving "back towards a neanderthal, top down, management style" affirmatively. Blah, the big dogs are not close enough to the real work to figure things out and micromanagement will blow them up. Hint, big dude, you fired the wrong people to save money. Local management can get all the information centralized management can but better extract the things that are relavant. Central management will simply be overwhelmed by details and choke on human limitations. These companies will realize the error of their ways as their competitors eat their lunch. The command economy of the Soviet Union was the ultimate example of this top down foolishness. You would think the world knew better by now.

      It's impossible to predict what people will do with their bandwith. Saying all we really need is a phone line and electric power is kind of like saying that all we will ever need is 640K of RAM. Some people think like that. They build an OS designed for slaves to be pushed on at will. It comes with an EULA that forces updates, grants permision for file system examination and suffers from massive security and performance flaws from that and sloppy workmanship. Yet even those clumsy machines can be used to learn about and download real software.

      The revolution is still happening.

      • It's impossible to predict what people will do with their bandwith. Saying all we really need is a phone line and electric power is kind of like saying that all we will ever need is 640K of RAM.

        And y'know what, the creators of Unix thought that all we would ever need was a command line. Times change, people and technology change with them. Last time I checked Windows could address just as much memory as Linux can. By all means flame Microsoft if you have a legitimate grievance, but dredging up this old and apocryphal quote does not strengthen your argument one whit.
        • But are Brian Kernighan or Dennis Ritchie constantly putting out books about their visionary abilities, or listing themselves as 'philanthropists' in microsoft encarta?

          I thought not. Which is why this always becomes more and more hilarious everytime I read it.
          • But are Brian Kernighan or Dennis Ritchie constantly putting out books about their visionary abilities, or listing themselves as 'philanthropists' in microsoft encarta?

            I dunno, are they donating $1.2 billion/year to charity? I think that counts as philanthropy (look it up in the dictionary).
            • I didn't say he wasn't. I just think he's a pompous self-centered .... that goes out of his way to point out he has a lot of money and power and thinks it gives him some right to 'predict' things unlike a scientist that works his whole life to make 'visionary predictions'.

              That's all :)
              • I didn't say he wasn't. I just think he's a pompous self-centered .... that goes out of his way to point out he has a lot of money and power and thinks it gives him some right to 'predict' things unlike a scientist that works his whole life to make 'visionary predictions'.

                Actually he seems quite modest. From the NYT article:

                Mr. Gates was worth nearly $75 billion in Microsoft holdings alone. Now, he is about $40 billion lighter, on paper, but he shrugs it off. "My value is still so much higher than I ever expected it to be by a factor of about 50," Mr. Gates said. "So the fact that at one point it was say, a factor of 60, well -- that wealth is all going back to society anyway."


                I don't know if you ever read the first edition of The Road Ahead, but he did get a lot of things very wrong (the most practical being he didn't see the web coming and thought people would prefer MSN). At least he learnt from his mistakes and moved on.
    • A good thing? Jeez you must not work in tech support. I can only imagine now getting calls from "Ma and Pa Kettle" stating "my dawg gone internet broke!" Sweet Jesus, Serenity Now!
    • Maybe a "National Internet Access Initiative" would be a good idea, but not yet, I don't think. The technology is still growing by leaps and bounds. What happens if we wire them up with DSL this year only to see fiberoptic, gigabit connections become standard 5-10 years from now? Those farmers with their DSL would seem just as behind then as they do now with thier 14.4 modems. Do we have a new NIAI, or do we tell them to just make due?

      Right now, they have Internet access, and while it's slow, many people even in urban areas are still making due with analog modems. Until they fall really far behind, or technological growth starts to level off, I think we should hold off on trying to wire up rural areas.

    • Really, it should replace POTS entirely. POTS is outdated and unreasonable. Sure it works even when the power is out and so on, but there are ways to make that happen regardless, like battery backup, or if you're really pinched about it, make whatever comes into the house supply power, too. Personally I think the most reasonable thing to use to connect to residences is the cable network, but I don't really care what you use to get there. The point is, we should all be using IPv6 for everything. There's no particular reason why not. Really stupid devices would cost more but smart devices would cost less, and considering that cellphones are free, it's not unreasonable to assume that an IP phone should be free in the not-too-far-future as well.
    • It could be a double edged sword. One poster commented on what one could call the "hick" factor. I'm noting a lot of tech-savvy farmers these days, but the simpler ones still rely heavily on no computer, and if you put them in front of a computer they just might not have interest in that high-falootin' techno-internet computer stuff. On the other hand, basing off of another comment from somebody commenting on POTS being obsolete, this one's closer to the truth. If we run digital and broadband throughout, this could open the door to better solutions to the area code problem (IE, running eight digit phone numbers instead of the canonical seven). This may never happen though for the simple reason of bureaucracy.
  • Heh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:07PM (#4630021)
    In other news, Slashdot posters get serious about run-on sentences and comma abuse!
  • farmers? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sczimme ( 603413 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:10PM (#4630034)
    building Internet in the rural area just speeded up the exodus of farmers, who were able to find a job somewhere else."

    So they only became farmers because they lacked decent job sites? Hmmm.

    I suppose we should take into account he possibility that the farmers got better farming jobs elsewhere..
    • Re:farmers? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:38PM (#4630158) Journal
      What, working for ADM?

      It's not like you go apply for jobs at small farms. It's pretty much all family owned, or megacorp these days, not much inbetween, except for specialties like wineries, etc, which are closer to family owned, but may employ a good number of people at least seasonally.
      • There once was a man who owned a bait shop in North Lousiana. He made about $5,000/year on it selling worms, crickets and minnows. One day he decided to build a lake so he did not have to buy minnows anymore. He did it well and others came to him when ADM and others decided to promote catfish farming so they could sell catfish feed. He helped those other farmers dig lakes and packaged their catfish for them, but realized the money was in selling feed. He then bought up an abandoned mill and started making feed from locally grown grains, cutting ADM and all the middle chain including commodities dealers in Chicago out of the loop entirelly. And the money was better than he imagined. As ADM imagined, too many people entered the catfish business and prices collapsed. Our industrious bait shop owner then bought up the lakes and now owns a verticle empire which benifits grain growers, most of the catfish farmers, and the people who eat catfish.

        Would he have benifited from better internet? It's hard to say because he did not have it to begin with. I can say for sure that he will benifit from better bandwith in the future as will all of us.

  • by imsirovic5 ( 542929 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:12PM (#4630042)
    In the meantime internet service providers will be available in Louisiana as soon as gators stop chewing on internet backbone or when Dukem Nukem Forever comes out whichever comes first. Seriously though that sucks that even Utah is ahead of us..

    Oh well at least we got shrimp and crawfish down here so there! Take that Utah!

    • Hey, don't forget about that wonderful little celebration called Mardi Gras.
    • Oh well at least we got shrimp and crawfish down here so there! Take that Utah!

      They don't have to take them from us anymore, they can get them from China, sigh.

      We, however, have been giving the rest of the world a pain in the ass lately. Billy Tauzin [slashdot.org], owned by Hollywood, is not your friend. Just click on that link and see his hand on many foul and stupid things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:13PM (#4630054)

    Bill Gates Views What He's Sown in LibrariesBy TIMOTHY EGAN

    OLFAX, Wash. -- Bill Gates predicted in 1995 that the Internet would help rural people stay put, in part because they would have the same advantages as city slickers in the virtual world.

    He made that prophecy in "The Road Ahead," a book whose jacket showed Mr. Gates standing in the middle of an empty highway in remote eastern Washington.


    But when Mr. Gates, the richest man in the world, returned recently to the land of no stoplights as part of the last phase of a five-year philanthropic effort to put computers in every poor library district in the United States, he acknowledged that the road ahead was full of blind curves.

    There is scant evidence, for example, that the wiring of rural America has done anything to make Mr. Gates's prediction about population flight come true. The new computers may even be aiding the exodus from rural America, as people go online to find jobs far away.

    "I thought digital technology would eventually reverse urbanization, and so far that hasn't happened," Mr. Gates said, munching on a cheeseburger and fries at the Top Notch Cafe in Colfax, population 2,880. Among the bib overall set at lunch, he was largely unrecognized.

    "But people always overestimate how much will change in the next three years," Mr. Gates said, "and they underestimate how much will change over the next 10 years."

    He could well apply that maxim to himself. Three years ago, when stock in Microsoft, the company Mr. Gates co-founded, hit an all-time high of $119 a share, Mr. Gates was worth nearly $75 billion in Microsoft holdings alone.

    Now, he is about $40 billion lighter, on paper, but he shrugs it off. "My value is still so much higher than I ever expected it to be by a factor of about 50," Mr. Gates said. "So the fact that at one point it was say, a factor of 60, well -- that wealth is all going back to society anyway."

    The charitable group that Mr. Gates started with his wife, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is now giving away $1.2 billion a year. Mr. Gates said he was pleased that its first major philanthropic effort, the library project, had helped to narrow the digital divide. More than 95 percent of public libraries now offer free Internet access, including those here in Whitman County, which mainly serve wheat farmers and received $93,000 from the Gates Foundation.

    Inside the Seattle headquarters of the foundation, a giant map shows the progress of the campaign to give computers to libraries in every state. The campaign started with the poorest regions, mainly in the South and Great Plains, though distressed urban areas are included, too. But if superimposed over a map of population decline, it would show that many of these areas are not holding onto people, no matter how wired they become.

    "They come into the library, and they may use the computer to get a job and leave," said Kristie Kirkpatrick, who is in charge of a library district in Colfax.

    This land of rolling wheat fields has lost 10 percent of its population in the last two years alone, Ms. Kirkpatrick said. But she said the new computers had also changed many people's lives for the better, giving them more access to medical and agricultural information.

    The foundation has fared much better than Mr. Gates's personal fortune. Other philanthropies, notably those started by David and Lucile Packard and by Ted Turner, have seen their assets shrink considerably with the stock market collapse. By contrast, the Gates Foundation has grown, and now has assets of $24 billion -- far more than any single philanthropy in the country. The foundation weathered the storm, Mr. Gates said, because less than 2 percent of its money is invested in stocks, though Mr. Gates said that could rise to 25 percent over the next four years, as it pursues bargains in the market.

    "They are the only major foundation that is still doing great," said Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

    Mr. Gates used to think he would wait until he was in his 60's to give his money away. At 47, Mr. Gates has handed out $5.5 billion for global health issues, education and the library project, which is the first major initiative at the foundation to essentially run its course.

    "The more I learned, the more I realized there is no time," he said in a recent speech to the United Nations.




    (Second Page)

    (Page 2 of 2)

    Critics say Mr. Gates has raised his philanthropic profile at the same time his company has been battling court rulings that found Microsoft to be a monopoly that violated the law in trying to dominate the personal computer market. Even giving 40,000 computers to libraries is seen by some as simply an effort to create a bigger customer base for Microsoft products.

    Patty Stonesifer, the president of the foundation, who started at Microsoft more than 15 years ago, says Mr. Gates was committed to putting computers in every library well before he was labeled a monopolist, and would be committed to it long afterward.

    "He said, `History will get this right,' " Ms. Stonesifer recalled, referring to Mr. Gates's belief that the Internet can have a democratizing effect.

    But whether history will show that bringing the digital world to places like Parrotsville, Tenn. (population, 127) or villages in the heart of American Indian Country had the effect that Mr. Gates intended is an open question.

    Miriam Tarlton, 77, lives alone in a cabin 14 miles from the nearest town in the mountains of northwest Montana. She discovered the Internet at her library in the town of Eureka not long ago, after the Gates Foundation donated a computer and software.

    "Oh, my gosh, it was like going on a ship to Mars," said Ms. Tarlton, who now uses the Web to find recipes, garden information, quilt sites and to keep up an e-mail correspondence with family members.

    Andrew C. Gordon, hired by the foundation to evaluate the library project, labeled it a "a success, but not an unqualified one." In his surveys of libraries where the computers were installed, Mr. Gordon found that library use went up and usually not at the expense of books. He also found that most people who used the donated computers were poor, in the income bracket where the digital divide has been greatest.

    But the No. 1 thing that people used the computers for was to keep in touch with family and friends through e-mail, Mr. Gordon said. He also found that 22 percent of new computer users in the libraries said they helped them find jobs; whether those jobs were in a different location was never tracked.

    Staff members of the foundation answer questions and provide support to librarians, but that will be phased out in the next two years. The biggest question about the project is whether it will sustain itself once the Gates people walk away, after spending about $250 million on the project.

    Mr. Gates seems ready to check the library project off his to-do list. His model was Andrew Carnegie, who left hundreds of sturdy libraries standing in small towns as part of his philanthropic legacy.

    "You know, Carnegie was a pretty hard-core guy," he said, leaving Main Street here, where the biggest digital sign displays the price for wheat: $4.80 a bushel. "I'd be happy if I could think that the role of the library was sustained and even enhanced in the age of the computer."

  • In an effort to boost the potatoes of Idaho legislated tax credit for potatoes, who were investing in potatoes infrastructure. According to the latest news, the potatoes worked quite well, and about 150 thousand potatoes can soon take advantage of tax-sponsored mr.potatoe. Speaking of wiring mashed potatoes with cheap gravy, there was an article in Potatoe Daily ($free_french_fries_quote), where Bill "Mr. Potatoe Head" Gates admitted that in many cases building french-fry-barby-doll-houses in the rural area just speeded up the mashing of the potatoes, who were able to fry a french potatoe."
  • "Building the internet in the rural area"

    You mean to tell me these people couldn't get any kind of dialup service out there? Almost anybody with any kind of internet access can search for a job in some city (or "elsewhere")... unless they mean the people who actually built the infrastructure itself... hrm
    • Re:Building? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cyno01 ( 573917 )
      Not everyone can get even dial-up. My grandparents live in the northwoods of wisconsin, near rhinelander, and were thinking of getting a computer for e-mail. They looked around and there aren't any ISPs up there. Any internet connection they made would have to be a long distance fone call, which would get very expensive, very quickly. Especially if my grandpa found out he could check weather updates every five minutes.
    • Party lines used to be common in rural areas. I'm not sure how many people still have them. You can't legally use a modem on a party line.
  • by certron ( 57841 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:19PM (#4630085)
    This sounds a bit like how the South Korean fiber lines that were built for use during the World Cup ended up being the infrastructure that let them install broadband access to a significant percentage of homes.

    Admittedly, South Korea is a different sort of place than Idaho, but comparing it to a state is probably much better than comparing it to the whole US.

    The problem is that no one really wants to pay for infrastructure unless they can see the "step n. Profit!" at the end of it. It is like roads and railways, infrastructure that allows companies to do business, but which is shared by others. I think this is a form of the 'free rider' problem, but I'm not an economist. Generally, the government gets to pay to keep the infrastructure going, and gets the money for it from taxes.

    Short answer: good infrastructure allows many other activities, but individual entities are not always willing to make the investment.

    • by Sivar ( 316343 ) <charlesnburns[@]gmail...com> on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:55PM (#4630215)
      Sounds like Korea, a bit

      Not quite as nice. Many Koreans can get internet connections nearing or exceeding 100Mbit (!!!) for $15-$25/mo equivalent. The country has forum websites that are perfectly happy lettign you post multi-megabyte pictures because their gigabit and ten-gigabit (!!!) connections can hack it, and are dirt cheap.

      Of course, when you consider the average pay of Korean citizens this suddenly doesn't seem quite so like an internet Mecca, but still...
      • I still find it funny, that I work for a telco, and 75% of the people in my group dont have high speed DSL. And we live in a major metro area.

        Seems the local telco's wanted to save money so they ran thin copper that cant handle DSL very well, NOBODY has DSL. The local cable company went digital, but would have to spend a hefty chuck of change to upgrade everybody. And all the new housing complexes are wired in the wrong direction, so they are either too far from the CO they are on (and live 1 block from the CO that serves another area) or the area has fiber.

        I find it amusing all these Hi-Speed news stories, when there are millions in the larger metro areas that have to use dialup. Hell, my area along there are around 200+ idsl subscribers, everyone has idsl (144k), when lucky people get 2mbit xdsl for the same price.

        I hope some new technologies come out that helps everyone get hi-speed broadband, maybe it will rub off in the cities.
    • The problem is that no one really wants to pay for infrastructure unless they can see the "step n. Profit!"

      1. Build infrastructure
      2. ....
      3. Profit!

      Like you didnt have it coming
  • Fuck you gates! (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by t0qer ( 230538 )
    Bill Gates admitted that in many cases building Internet in the rural area just speeded up the exodus

    You mean like my hometown San Jose?

    Admittedly, I love technology, I love the richness of information it brings into my life. Yet, seeing all of my families orchards being sold off one by one because of city land grabs has been sad to say the least.

    I grew up on a family orchard in the evergreen area of san jose. I remember summer days napping on the stumps of the eucaliptus trees my uncle had cut down..

    40, hell even 20 years ago the quality of life in Silicon valley was very different. Housing was more affordable, freeways less congested, about the only bad thing was we were known as the capitol of PCP here in san jose.

    Now when I go up on Mount Hamilton, and look down at the city, it's a very different view than what I saw even 10 years ago, my families ranches all replaced with housing, and now there's this constant brown smog layer that comes and goes, but I fear eventually it will stay.

    Bill, from one nerd beat up in school to another, please don't make insensitive comments like that. Sure the 799,999 people that have moved here in the last 20 years may agree with you, but watching cookie cutter sheet housing pop up because the city wants more housing for the "tech sector" is just plain wrong.

    Here's a little history lesson for those of you going to evergreen valley college and are wonderin why the family tore up the ranch..

    About 10 years ago the city of SJ got a stick up it's butt about flood control. Our property is ajecent to a canal that feeds thompsons creek. The first year they took a big chunk out of our property for a "flood control" project. Then for the next 10 they kept moving the fence 6 inches over. By the time they were finished we had lost a good 15-20 acres for the city's "flood control project"

    It wasn't just that either, we used to pump water from the creek for irrigation, about 15 years ago Santa Clara county made the practice illeagle, meaning we had to get our water from the city, which made our costs go up.

    Sorry mods if you read this as a flame, but Bill saying "Oh we can stomp out the farmers and they'll find other work" is a load of fucking crap.

    Bill, I learned your OS and supported it for 7 years. Now i'm out of a job. The demand for MSCE is null right now. Fuck you go to hell.
    • Ya. You tell him.

      While we're at it, let's get rid of the telephones and power in rural areas. And burn down the libraries. Hey, let's go back to the law of Leviticus, while we're at it!

      Seriously, technology happens, and you can't stop it. Either you embrace it and change if necessary, or you live like the Unibomber. I bet you weren't complaining about technology that was used to harvest or water or plow those orchards you miss. Blaming Gates for technology is kind of silly... might as well blame Gutenberg or that bright guy that invented flint tipped spears.
      • More importantly the wrong people are being blamed here. The city officials are the ones that make the decisions to do land grabs and flood zone projects. We see the same types of actions take place in my area. The differance is those officials don't last long.
      • Although the guy who invented dynamite did make a noble effort to make amends.

        I think Gates is more generally blamed for retarding technology through abuse of markets, conspiracies to destroy upstarts, etc. Now, this is all alleged, I ain't making no claims. I do give Gates credit for realizing that what the poor in developing countries need first is food and clean water, Wintel later. (Yes, I realize Idaho is not third world, I've been there!)
      • Yeah tech happens, but look at the side effects...

        You used to be able to catch edible fish out of any creek in san jose 20 years ago (note this is with agruculture pesticide residue being released into the water too) Now you would be hard pressed to find ANY body of fresh/running water in San Jose that doesn't have dangerous amounts of lead, mercury, PCB's and whatever other nasty toxins you can through in there. Guadalupe River carries large signs along its banks "WARNING MERCURY IN FISH"

        Where did all these toxins come from? Well the ground used to soak and filter most of it, but with the city now populated to damn near a million people, it comes from anywhere.

        What about the cost of living? How many people had to move out of san jose and back east when the .com imploded? Gee I thought technology was supposed to miniaturize things and make them cheaper, mass production and all that shit.

        Did you know that most people living in San Jose are on average a 3 income household now? It's either..
        A couple, and a roomate.
        3 girls
        3 guys

        Why should it take 4/5'ths of anyones paycheck just to cover 1/3 of the rent? I don't call that progress.

        Yeah great, grand, wonderful fucking technology. I can play counterstrike at 100fps woohoo. Where's my flying cars and teleporters. Food Generators? I thought poverty was supposed to be a thing of the past. It's all a pipe dream of bullshit to make us work harder for this imaginary goal of "techtopia"

        • Where's my flying cars and teleporters. Food Generators?

          According the infamous slashdot poll [slashdot.org] Slashdotters want Teleportation! As soon as we get that who needs flying cars? Or food generators? Hell, as soon as I can teleport instantly from place to place I'll get you Italian food from Italy, Mexican from Mexico (no more microwave crap). Please, oh please, sexually repressed and confused scientists make teleportation a reality.

  • > Bill Gates admitted that in many cases building Internet in the rural area just speeded up the exodus of farmers,

    How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm / After they've seen Paree'?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Let Google do the work:

    Bill Gates Views What He's Sown in Libraries [nytimes.com]

  • by BaCkBuRn ( 621588 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:28PM (#4630118) Homepage Journal
    See we arent just redneck potato farmers anymore, we are edjumakated and inforamated redneck potatoe farmers who fix dells ( We have the national dell call center ).

    -Brandon Jank
    Resident of the great state of Idaho

    Long live the potato!
    ( We make the best memory too )
  • Alright! Now I can kick my best friend's ass in CS without the lag! w00t!
  • great (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lazelank ( 454849 )
    now all the farmers can get online, read slashdot (http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/11/ 08/1241250&mode=nested&tid=134), and learn how to farm
  • by Teancom ( 13486 ) <david AT gnuconsulting DOT com> on Friday November 08, 2002 @08:40PM (#4630163) Homepage
    I can tell you that I've never heard of this credit/plan/thingy before. And while I suppose the situation isn't *too* bad (I live in a town of about 5K, and afaik, everyone who wants it can get cable), I wouldn't say that we are the model of the modern major um, connected place :-) I guess I'm just bitter that after moving from Boise to Kuna (no, I didn't make that name up!), I had to downgrade from DSL to Crappy Cable. I'm serious, for the exact same amount a month, I get 1/3rd the upload speed, 3/4ths the download speed, and ten times the downtime... I never thought I'd prefer Qwest over *anything*, but at least my DSL line didn't drop out twice a week.

    Oh, well. I'm probably going to get 20 responses from people living in Bliss and Sugar City (also names I didn't make up!), telling me I should praise the gods that I can even get cable. To them I say: "Move the hell out! I did!"
    • What cable internet service do you get in Kuna? At least when I looked into it, cable service in Boise-proper was much faster (and induced less guilt) than the Qwest/MSN DSL garbage available.
      • Cableone. And I never had MSN, so I didn't have to feel *too* guilty :-) I was one of the "pioneers" of DSL in the valley, and started out with Cyberhighway (remember them?) over 3 years ago, then went to RMCI, then Micron.NET, which of course was sold to some other company (heck if I can remember their name), then in turn sold to Interland, which sold out to Solution Pro, at which point I moved...

        And believe you me, if cable was faster I wouldn't be complaining about it B-)
    • Yeah, Moscow, Idaho. He's a brilliant chem engineer out of the UofI (which is there in Moscow) and I'm trying to recruit him to work for my company. In one of the major university towns (two major universities - UofI and WSU within 10 miles of each other) and all they get is crappy dial-up at $25 a month, some 2.4ghz wireless and, apparently, cable. If there is a major Idaho push towards connectivity they haven't heard about it.
      • Since I only visit Moscow to visit them I relied on their information which is obviously out of date. I'll pass on the information on to them about the options that should be available to them since they live very close to the University. It's always nice to be corrected with useful information. :)
    • [...]I'm probably going to get 20 responses from people living in Bliss and Sugar City (also names I didn't make up!)[...]

      Never mind them, what about all the people in the booming metropolis of Squirrel? (ALSO not made up...)

      I'm on cableone myself, soon to upgrade to 'business class' so I can host my own server here instead of colocated (expensive! Ouch!)...

  • by Cheese Cracker ( 615402 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:02PM (#4630244)
    "I thought digital technology would eventually reverse urbanization, and so far that hasn't happened," Mr. Gates said

    Hightech and IT companies tend to stick together in certain areas for a reason. If you want a job in these industries, you better move away from the countryside since mentioned industries won't move to a small town in the countryside were they can't find enough skilled workers. I guess Bill thought that we all should be teleworkers, but most IT jobs require personal interaction, so you're still dependent on being close to the clients.

    There are other reasons on why people wants to leave the countryside. It's not all about jobs, but the lifestyle you want. There are for instance more choices (eg. entertainment, restaurants) in urban areas. Thinking that the people leave because they've got the ability to search jobs is to make this issue a little bit too simple. This trend of urbanization is nothing new... and it will continue, with or without wired towns in the countryside.
    • You know, I've often said (and I stand by this) that I would definitely move to bumfuck, KS (or wherever) if I were paid enough so that once a month I could fly to a real city and do something fun for the weekend. Not drive, but fly. As long as I can drive someplace nearby and decent, say two weekends a month. And I'd have to be able to own a big house on a large piece of propery with running water, and I have to have at least 1.5Mbps down and 128Kbps up for a "reasonable" price based on what I'm making.

      So anyway I don't think I'll be in a situation like that soon but there is possibility there. You could wire some towns in the middle of nowhere (perhaps using a network of the ex-AT&T microwave bunkers and the new wireless internet crap that's like cellular phones, cheap and fast, I dunno it was posted on here a little while back) and put techies out there. The land is cheap, anyway. I'd personally really enjoy having a lot of land that I could do more or less what I wanted with, and a lack of nosy mofos.

    • There are other reasons on why people wants to leave the countryside. It's not all about jobs, but the lifestyle you want.

      True, but I think a lot of people overlook the advantages of living in a rural setting. Minimal traffic, peace and quiet, lower cost-of-living, less pollution, and nice scenery. Life is more than entertainment and restaurants.

      People flock to the cities to enjoy the (generally overpriced) amenities of urban life, and then complain about crowds, crime, and the difficulty of making ends meet while they cram their lives into their $1000/mo efficiency apartments.

      Here in rural Maryland I've got lots of coworkers who were willing to take a substantial pay cut to get away from the city and work in an environment that they actually enjoyed. And more options for speedy Internet connectivity would be just one more reason for some people to make the same move. Neither lifestyle is perfect for everyone, of course, but folks should give it a chance before they knock it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Eighty percent of the population in southern Idaho will have Internet broadband connectivity by year's end,"

    SOUTHERN IDAHO!! This is typical of the State Legislature. We had a chance to do away with this last Tuesday, but noooo, Idaho has to vote 80% Republican every friggin year!!.

    "150,000 people will benefit from this" Ya, that's about the population of the state capital, Boise. Don't let this fool you. This does nothing (it sounds like) for the towns of Moscow or Coeur d'Alene, a college town and suburb of Spokane, WA respectively, where we could definetly use tax benefits to corps up here. Spokane has about the poorest per capita in the country, but there is SOMEWHAT of a tech sector up here.
    • This does nothing (it sounds like) for the town[...] of Moscow[...], a college town

      Yeah, but it might do something for Pocatello, another college town. Pocatello needs SOMETHING done for it - can you believe that, despite the fact that it's a college town, there are NO donut shops there? NONE. No decent bookstores that I'm aware of, either.

      And don't even get me started on the really-needs-a-serious-update curricula available at ISU...

      I don't know what's so "Republican" (That is, "Rupertican") about the plan, though. "Let's give a bunch of isolated poor farmers low-cost internet!" isn't the sort of thing I generally associate with that party's platform. The only difference I see with what Disneycrats could have done with a similar plan of their own is they'd more likely (to my mind) have created a state government agency to run the network instead of simply encouraging existing businesses to do it with promises to rob them 3% less next year in taxes...

      (No, I don't like EITHER party....)

  • by Error27 ( 100234 ) <error27@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:19PM (#4630304) Homepage Journal
    I don't even need to read the article about Bill Gates to know how insightful his quote was.

    For example, my farm has been in the familly for generations. These days it becomes harder and harder to compete with the mega-farm corporations and imported food products. Where does a man turn when faced with increased presure to sell the family heritage and give up his dreams? Bill Gates. Bill Gates is a man you can trust. He understands farmers because he is one.

  • Idaho =! Rural (Score:3, Informative)

    by usmcpanzer ( 538447 ) <usmcpanzer@nOsPAm.hotmail.com> on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:21PM (#4630307) Homepage
    I've been here in Boise for about five years, and its not as rural state as some would belive. He have here as headquaters Micron Technologies, SCP Global, and a major division of HP. Besides that, plenty of jobs with call centers (Direct TV, Sears, MCI to name a few.) Get further away from the city, then broadband becomes a problem.

    About anyone with Cableone can now have a cable modem (which I've waited four years for.) The major problem is with Quest. It has tken them forever to roll out broadband, and you could be in one house and have it, but the next door one can't.

    The major point of the article was 80% in southern Idaho will have broadband. Southern Idaho is where the major highway connecting our major cities and down to Salt Lake City. It will be a Big Thing(TM) when I can get broadband in a cabin up in Crouch, ID.

  • by theduck ( 101668 ) <{theduck} {at} {newsguy.com}> on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:31PM (#4630348)

    ...appears later in the article

    Performance is important in a rural area, he said, especially as the potential and need for telemedicine and distance education applications increases.

    I used to work for a company that builds and installs distance education networks in rural areas. With the infrastructure they're referring to in the article, much of the cost of such networks is already taken care of. Why is distance education so important in rural Idaho? Because local schools with small numbers of students can't afford the staff required to teach the state mandated curriculum, much less elective courses such as language or (gasp) high school computer science. Without the ability to share teaching staff across distance education networks, many of the local schools would have to close and the kids would be bused long distances on a daily basis.

    So, yeah, it's nice that farmers get to surf the web. But the real benefit is elsewhere.

  • Do the people of Idaho really need MORE pr0n?

    • Isn't Idaho Mormon Country?...I can imagine the church leaflets now, done in stylish two-color stock, probably red or blue, showing the transition of young model citizens to pierced porn-stars, as they follow a treacherous path layed down for them by online news addiction, StarCraft, Big Government and Big Business and finally, the realization that someone would pay to seem them nekkid (purposefully mispelled). And then in the final frame they will be genuflecting before a huge display showing all the bad sites they visitied, superimposed with all the terrible carnal things they did prior to being flushed way way way down--you know, to where we can spend an eternity getting to know their flesh and all that fun.

      Personally, I look forward to the future of streaming video veggie play with good solid farm-girls, complete with a scripted online voting interface (php!? perl?! Who cares!)...Peeled or unpeeled?! Help her decide for $5 U.S. now!!!

      Meanwhile in a rural farm-house in the middle of NO-WHERE,
      "Watch out! UGH!"
      A perfectly quiet school-night is tainted by the sounds of pleasure and then a startling, almost scrap-heap challengesque sound normally made by something firing a pumpkin causes flocks of pigeons to leave the wires, trees, fences, and nearly every other surface of the landscaping in a massive roiling protest.

      SCHOOOMPH!

      This followed closely by the sounds of breaking glass and the screams of the cameraman when the spud creases the top of his head causing a permanent furrow which will set off a new trend when seen by millions around the world...the ploughed look. One development cycle later, it will be hailed as the new cleavage. Anyone with forehead cleavage will get on well with the big prosthetic foreheads they buy off of E-Bay and wear upon their real ploughed foreheads, of course.

      In reality the whole damn thing smacks of yet another E-Rate [cnn.com], whereby small opportunistic businesses will be weakened and consumed by the bigger fish when three months later the small business owners realize that the government may or may not actually provide any incentive after the business did the work...believe it or not...so this kind of move often serves to destory the initial or early implementers of technology and makes it easier for the big players to enter a market refreshingly clear of any real competition (buy failing business and obtain their contracts...aaaahh...refreshing captialism fueled by big business--who could ask for anything more?).

      Compared to business as usual, maybe a bit of super-kegel exhibitionism isn't that bad?

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @10:20PM (#4630522)
    I was amused to read Bill Gate's comments on computers and internet access halting the rural exodus by 1995. Having been born and raised on a large successful farm, I can tell you that yes, technology and computers are essential tools (even our tractors have computers in them that monitor and control every aspect of the engine and transmission, etc). But that's all they are. The tools need to be wielded better by farmers through education and better management.

    There are several problems with farming in America that no broadband or computer is going to fix. (And thus the exodus will continue)

    1. Farming is too innefficient. The days of small family farms under 640 acres are gone. You just can't do it any more. Sorry.
    2. Farmers don't know how to manage their farms like a business. Even a family farm is a business.
    3. Government subsidies eliminate incentives to improve these things and compete with the rest of the world. (Although Europe is the worst offender for subsidies.) Let's get rid of them.
    4. Farmers are not diversivied enough. Thus my farm has gone from traditional wheat and grains to canola, peas, alfalfa, and flax. Also we use modern no-till techniques for increasing yeild without having to work the land. (stirring the soil can be counter-productive.)

    My father has pioneered the use of computers in Agriculture as planning and managing tools (like a normal business, fancy that) since the IBM PC in 1981. The internet doesn't yet play a significant role in marketing, however, but it is a good tool for managing the books (online banking), researching and sharing ideas for innovation and so forth.

    So things like rural broadband are nice, but if you don't fix the underlying problem, you'll soon have no rural population left and everybody will then wonder where their food is.

    Michael
    • Really? Thats funny. Humans did it for hundreds of thousands of years, but suddenly "you just can't do that anymore". Perhaps, what you meant to say was, you can't run a small family farm and make a fortune today. Well, that makes a bit more sense. But then, farming was never about making fortunes and doing big business. It was about growing what you needed, selling what you didn't to the local community, and living.

      You weren't born on a farm. You were born in an agricultural factory. The kind that destroyed the opportunity for regular families to farm a plot of land and make a living on their own.
    • So things like rural broadband are nice, but if you don't fix the underlying problem, you'll soon have no rural population left and everybody will then wonder where their food is.

      Of course, this isn't true. If people wonder where the food is, the value goes up, and more large companies will get into the act of running more farms. The small farmer is still displaced but no one wonders where the food is, it'll be where it's always been.

      If you want to use technology to help farmers, put together a computer network that allows them to act as a co-op. Assuming you could get them to cooperate, that is. But that would be your problem, not mine. I wouldn't mind living on a farm, but I don't plan to be a farmer at any point soon :P

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @12:28AM (#4630922) Homepage
    Whole areas of the "flyover states" are being depopulated. [archive.org] Marginal farming and ranching operations in cold areas far from civilization can't compete, even with near-zero land costs. Kansas actually has more "frontier counties" ( 6 people/square mile) than it did in 1890.
  • by Milikki ( 103463 ) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @01:34AM (#4631107)
    Background: I live in a high-tech world where a large portion of my career has been involved with technology, its advances and uses. I also live over 30 miles from the nearest city, my next door neighbor is a mile away (yes, I know my neighbors) and have to travel dirt roads for 20 minutes before I can find pavement.

    I get dialup at 21kbps. On occasion, I get phone calls requesting me to come down and make some fix or change. I inform them that it will be a minimum of an hour for me to get there and the changes suddenly dont seem so urgent. With broadband, I could make those changes from home.

    In the early part of the 20th century, it was realized that in order for the US to become the economic power that it is today it was necessary to bring the entire country along for the ride. Part of this was the Rural Electrification Project (mentioned in a few posts above). Pretty much, it ensured that electricity was available to all homes in the US. As we enter the first years of the 21st century, the same vision is true for data and the internet. We need a Rural Network Project.

    One blaringly obvious example is the incredible number of CDs I have that include documentation, but only as a clickable link to the internet. Take a second and think about that. All this information available ONLY online. And with the tendency of everyone to move to brighter, shinier documents, increased bandwidth is required.

    Or maybe we should consider it the other way. All computers used for web development and testing should have port 80 throttled to 48kbps maximum speed. Maybe then we wouldnt see all the Flash only sites. Oh, and while we're at it, all IT computers should probably be throttled to 48k also, just to help prove that code doesnt need to be bloated.

    Just some rambling.

    Kevin
  • by aquarian ( 134728 ) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @03:54AM (#4631423)
    It's even more important to have broadband in rural areas if any internet access at all is important. The reason is that phone lines generally suck once you get out of major population centers. No 56k connections out here -- 28k or 19.2k is more like it. And with the way web sites are built these days, that's totally unacceptable, as the web is almost useless at that speed. Plus, dialup POPs tend to be woefully inadequate and horribly overloaded, so you get kicked off all the time. It's like 1994 all over again. The scary thing is that much of the US is still like this.
  • Please note that it is strictly implied that this article refers to southern Idaho, the great state of Ada, only.

    As usual those of us here in the north are not included. Most Boise residence, including government employees, might have heard of Coeur d Alene. Most would be suprised to learn that places like Sandpoint, Wallace, Priest River, St. Maries, or Bonners Ferry are part of the state. Add to that the fact that these places do NOT have a largely Mormon population.

    It's always good to hear news of foreign places. This won't apply to most of the state. I wish Boise luck with their broadband.

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