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The Media

Washington DC is Most Wired Region in the U.S. 137

There it is, at the very top of the front page of my Sunday Washington Post: a story claiming that almost 60% of all adults here in the D.C. metro area have and use Internet connections. You can read it online here. The story itself is interesting - it gives up-to-date connection stats for the whole country, by region - but what I found most fascinating about it was that a year ago this article probaby would have been buried back in the business or sci/tech sections, but now the Internet is hot-hot "general interest" news.
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Washington DC is Most Wired Region in the U.S.

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  • Probably somewhere in Hawaii. You know how hard it is to stretch a phone line over there? Much less cable. Seriously tho, I used to live in Kailua, Hi, and it seems like that would be one of the last places to get hooked up. Granted, it was four years ago, so things may have changed. But that's my guess.
  • How much is it costing you students for the DSL? Is it the same as dial-up? Or, is this one of those invisible tuition costs?

    Well, since I moved off campus this year, I no longer have access to the university's internet connection through Ethernet :-p Dialup is free through the university, but I can't stand using a modem after a year of Ethernet, so we had to get DSL... and fast DSL. We're paying ~ $200/month for 1.56Mb SDSL through IBS [goibsdsl.com], with free installation (or rather, we pay $200 for installation and then will get a $200 rebate)

    "Software is like sex- the best is for free"
  • So money correlates more closely to net connectivity than frequency of IT worker

    I'm posting to /. using Alsa Vistas free access(free beer) [av.com] and it's not costing me a dime. nada, zippo, bupkiss, null, not a thin red dime, nuthin'. There are others (Netzero comes to mind) that also offer free dialup access to the net.

    How's the service? sometimes I have to dial twice, but I usually I get a 40+k connection (better than my last ISP). Yea sure I have to look at adds, but I just put the add in the corner of my 2nd monitor and ignore it.

    I would have to agree that MONEY=FAST ACCESS, but right now, ~50K access has a very low cost right now, and will be getting cheaper.

  • Sorry, but what are you smoking?

    Of course it makes it more wired: people getting online, surfing, netgaming, emailing, telecommuting etc is wired behavior whether it's over a modem or a T3.

    DC may not be cutting-edge like SV (heh, you think?), but in my book wired means "connected" more than "state-of-the-art".

    Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. --Gandhi
  • ah, bullshit. when a computer is not your job, and you're not really tech oriented, you have other things to do away from a computer. checking your email and occassionally chatting with friends consumes about 2% of your day.
  • c) A better music scene in general. Does Minneapolis have the 9:30 Club? I think not. How many bands actually tour through there anyhow?

    No, but we do have First Avenue, and many others... Minneapolis has a very cool music scene. In the past couple years I've seen Radiohead, Soul Coughing, Semisonic (twice), Dave Matthews Band, Fatboy Slim, and Moby, just to name a few, and I don't even get out to concerts that much, considering I live an hour and a half away, whether I'm at school or at home.

    I don't think it's fair to say "a better music scene" unless you've actually experienced both for yourself...

    This is not intended as a flame, I'm just sick of people condescending to Minnesotans (and Midwesterners in general) for not being "cultured."

  • they should really check my dorm room. I am beginning to think that we have a fire hazzard in here. two TV's, a VCR, a stereo hooked to the VCR for the TV, two Nakamichi tape decks and a Pioneer reciever (for my Grateful Dead stuff heh), another stereo, three computers (two w/monitors), two printers, a DVD player, a minidisc player, and ethernet cables running everywhere... normally this wouldn't be alot. But in a room the size of my bathroom at home, hhe, it is :)

    *burn baby burn*
  • Don't forget the complimentary bucket and flute music at the Metro exits.
  • The proper way to determine how wired a place is is to devide its processing power by its area. If you look at my server closet and where i charge all the laptops in the house, it has a tiny area and big processing power.
    xm@GeekMafia.dynip.com [http://GeekMafia.dynip.com/]
  • by extrasolar ( 28341 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @11:07AM (#1607016) Homepage Journal
    I rarely give a "so what/who cares" attitude but this will be an exception.

    For some people, getting on the internet means that you are technologically competent and up-to-date. We all know what getting-wired says but most people misinterpret what it means. Getting on the internet has nothing to do with reaching a new level of technological competence. It is, perhaps, a level higher than getting another TV.

    I am pretty sure us slashdot people actually use technology to it's most. But most people I know still use the internet for chat and porn. If this is what the internet is for, then how is "getting wired" a good thing.

    Chat and porn are two things I stay away from. They are addicting things that doesn't do much more than eat brain cells. Is this what the information age provides?

    Come on people. Most of us have access to vast amounts of information, more information than anyone had in our past. Don't waste it.

    So don't misinterpet what "getting wired" means. Only for people who exercise self-restraint, getting a connection to the internet would be an improvement. Everyone else is wasting an incredible resource.

    (Sorry for ranting)

    Linux? That's GNU/Linux [gnu.org] to you mister!
  • Of course it's on the front page of the newspaper of the region rated number 1.

    Think about that a moment, it IS general interest to the area in which the newspaper covers. It's not suprising, just like Comdex being in town being on the front page of the Las Vegas Review Journal isn't suprising, but rather general interest.
  • Keep in mind that a lot of those Washington folks get online with Erols, so it's not that much of a bragging right (g).

    If only Bell Atlantic would get off their monopoly asses and get some DSL to the east coast, then the DC corridor could have something to brag about...
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @09:30AM (#1607019)
    Soon we'll have contests between people "oh yeah, well MY city has the most people working for hi tech companies". "That's small potatoes, MY city has over a dozen chip manufacturing plants!" "Oh yeah, well *I* have 32 computers in my basement, and MY city wants to give me financial aid because that's not enough!"

    So what? The reason they're probably the most wired is because that's where all my taxes go at the end of the year!!!

    I think my basement is more wired than 90% of the slashdot readership - but I'm not going to go out of my way to highlight this fact. The main reason being if anybody ever came downstairs, they'd instantly notice I probably have more old chinese containers, wrappers, empty pop cans, and cardboard pizza thingies than most of the slashdot readership! Washington DC may be the most wired, but I wouldn't want to live there for atleast two reasons - a) ever look BEHIND the whitehouse? An expansive ghetto stretching for miles and miles. It was a stagnant cesspool some 200 years ago and very little has changed. The second reason is there's nobody to have a good conversation with down there. I mean with all those politicians, all you'd get when you asked them what they did was "National security, can't tell you." or "Well, I believe in the American Way and blah blah blah... blah blah.. next question!"

    Sigh. Give me good 'ol Minneapolis any day.


  • (In a related story, retail porno shops are noticing a 60% drop in sales. Just kidding.)

    Seriously, does anyone know what the literacy rate for the same area is?
  • In the article they say that being online is now a prerequisite. Of course this is true in the tech fields, but I think that everyday is gets more so in others. /.ers take it for granted, but there are a whole bunch of people out there that really aren't accessing the Internet and it's really kind of a shame. I think we'll be seing this number (60%) rising like mad in the next 5 years, but that sort of goes without saying.

    This is sort of a question for "Ask Slashdot" but when do you guys think that we'll have near 100% of people in industrialized countries will be online? The Internet is getting so pervasive that this is inevitable, it's just a matter of time.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't envy us.
  • The DC area *does* have plenty of connectivity (thanks to the Federal Gov't's needs) and especially in Northern Virginia, there are many big "dot com" firms, ISPs, and co-lo facilities. Local streets are in a constant state of disrepair as more fiber is laid.

    But the *net attitude* of the area is still mired in political-style thinking and addressing issues as policy matters rather than real action. Virginia's governor is making a big deal about our status as a hub of the internet. I wish he'd pay as much attention to our roads and mass transit mess! (At least he doesn't claim he invented the Internet!)

    The contrast betrween, Silicon Valley and the DC area is striking. It will be a long time until the "go for it" thinking I see in the valley is prevelant here.

  • There are invariably quite a few holes in this report. First of all, the Washington DC "market" seems to have included quite a bit more than just the DC area. Nor does the report list all the markets surveyed. And perhaps most importantly, the survey is only of adults, not the total number of people online. What about the kiddies? They're often online more than the parents in the family. This could definitely sway the ratings a bit. Strangely enough, I heard a report not long ago that the Tampa Bay Area of Florida had some of the largest connectivity in total -- that is, the percentage of adults and children online. This wasn't even mentioned in the report. However, I have talked to people in the Tampa Bay metropolitan area, and if you're not online there, you are most certainly the odd one out. After all, Time Warner and GTE are two competing cable companies in the area (a rare situation). Both provide cable and cable modem services, while GTE also offers DSL ont he telephone line. So it's not surprising that quite a few people in the area are online. Nevertheless, this particular study would be biased against the area, because although almost every kid in the area is online (only met one who wasn't, but he can get online at his high school), there are a ton of elderly people in Florida who have no interest in the Internet. So instead of balancing everything out, Tampa Bay gets thrown lower on the list.
    I suppose my point here is this: take these studies with a grain of salt. Every study will be different, and can thus be interpreted differently. So just read the fine print and don't take anything too seriously. :-)


    The "I-4 Corridor" -- the next Silicon Valley?
  • As for the music scene (while the 9:30 club is cool, and there's nothing like hfstival ANYWHERE), you're ignoring the local music scene. The D.C. Ska scene has been thriving for years, the dc hardcore scene is getting tons of attention now, and we've got the Maryland punk scene to draw off of. Oh, and I know how you feel. I'm stuck in Blacksburg at the moment.
  • Well, to be honest, I get enough of computers at home and at school, and 1 (yes, one!) computer is enough for me to run my irc and to let me read my email and to browse slahsdot.

    I couldn't agree more. Maintaining a lab of twenty-four machines with both Win95 and linux, IP and NetWare, etc. all day at school is enough. I get to play with fun networking stuff at school. But when I come home, the one machine is all I need.

    My dad is always messing with his computer at home; installing software, changing settings, changing out hardware, etc; and his machine is down more often than it is up. But he barely uses a computer at work. For me, I don't play with my computer any more than I play with my television or VCR. I got that out of my system my first two years or so of college.

    There is definitely a difference between playing with your computer and playing on your computer.

  • not exactly, with all the high-tech firms in the area it makes sense for this high number.There was a recent news story stating more people in the DC area worked for high tech firms than the government. So that 60% is high-tech firms employees the 40% government workers.
  • YEAH! Balt-DC/MD/VA has some of the greatest soul/ska bands around, including the checkered Cabs and the PIETASTERS!
    Checkit - http://www.baisoftware.com/dcska

    /. poster #104543567
  • Hey, DC has the largest population of high-tech
    workers (we just passed silicon valley) at like

    All telecomm, internet, and simlution companies.
    It's really quite amazing how many are here.

    DC rules. Sure, no tall buildings, but that's
  • This is the company that did the research. http://www.scarborough.com/ [scarborough.com]

    These are the markets they researched.http://www.scarborough.com/scarbny/m arkets.htm [scarborough.com]

    Any questions?

    What about the kiddies? Who cares (sorry kids). They just don't control enough disposable income to have an influence on a market.

  • You'd think that with so many people concentrated in one are with a Net-centric attitude that you'd see less crap coming out of the area with regard to regulating said attitude.


    Put a million monkeys in front of million computers, and you still just get a lot of dumb looking monkeys.
  • I'm not really surprised to see that Austin comes in third. Having ubiquitous connectedness makes my job easier, because I can just assume that 1) almost all my students have access to a computer at home and 2) more than half have internet access (probably closer to 75% with the demographic that takes my class).

    Thus I can provide DJGPP for my students to download so they can work on projects at home and therefore I get to see higher quality work. Also I keep all my assignments and notes, etc. on a web page rather than using photocopied handouts or having to write quite so much on the chalkboard. And I know that a plurality of students could get to it from home if they are absent, whatever.

    The URL to my class web page is linked from my personal home page, in case anyone wants a flashback to high school computer science.

  • If DC is wired as all that, here's what I'd love to see happen: employees at the ISP's in the area take thier email and publish them everywhere they can find on the web. We'll see how they feel about privacy issues after that.

    Wonder how this would change the governmental's view on privacy. I've always thought that if the people whom we've foolishly elected were subjected to the same scrutiny and invasions of privacy that have become endemic, then encryption would enjoy the right kind of attention. Course I am not so naive to belive that this will make any difference whatsoever.

    Chris DiBona

    Grant Chair, Linux Int.

  • Having lived in DC (in the middle of NW)the past 3 years, the only thing that makes DC "more wired" is nearby AOL (and alot of other companies across the river in Virginia). In the metro DC area itself, they've only started rolling out cable modems, and the current DSL options barely covers any location.
  • Well, I've lived in this area for a few months, and from what I can tell 'ghetto' region isn't exactly a ghetto, but it's certainly an inner-city area. The area around the 9:30 Club, for example, I don't feel very safe walking around in. And I know those aren't the worst parts of town.

    Aside from that, though, I agree with you, and it's a shame I might end up having to move away soon. :/
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.

  • And yet for some reason Defcon gets a somewhat different type of press.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Canada is certainly one of the most wired countries, but I doubt it will ever be the top. We will always be ahead of our brother to the south, but there are several smaller countries that boast nationwide rates of 80% connectedness. Finland for one is a big adopter of technology. The U.S. is in the poorest position for growth in technological areas. Canada is in a prime position because of it's lack of existing outdated infrastructure. Finland and other european countries, in contrast, have an underlying infrastructure so old it makes no sense to 'update' or 'upgrade' but to just start from scratch. The U.S. is still in a position where it's old telephone networks etc will still be upgraded rather than tossed aside, making it a slower and more expensive process to jump technologies. I don't personally know a single person that is not connected to the interent, and i even know of a few that are connected, and don't know what a modem is.. or ever will. Canada is great that way, we have as much fibre as we have roads, (well that might be extreme) so fibre to every neighborhood is not an impossible idea (exists already in alot of places.) The best example of recent canadian developments are the new truly digital neighborhoods.. not an analogue line in place, not an anologue phone or modem.. nothing.. all products are digital and have to be to operate within the completely digital communities. There is a new digital community called 'citiplace' in ontario that boasts 12,000 residents living in a completely digital environment - all powered by Canada's newest international provider Telus Integrated Communications. From what i have heard it is a sight to see.. digital video phones everywhere.. even for access to the doors - which is cool you get to see a blind date before meeting him/her so you can fake being away if he/she is ugly!!
  • No nightlife? Ever heard of the 9:30 Club [930.com] perchance? Not to mention many other clubs in that area. What would you do in an area with a nightlife, other than sit on Slashdot all day?
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.
  • Having 100% people on the internet should never be the goal. Contrary to what you might think, there are many many people who should never use the internet. They don't need it. It is kind of like drivers in metropolises. How many of these people could use public transportation instead of yet another vehicle on the streets. But too many people use somethinng because everyone says they should and they end up using it for no good reason.

    Push the internet into homes and get more chatters and porn surfers. Push private transportation and we get accidents.

    I say that technology belongs in the hands of those that need it. Everyone else are fine without it.

    Linux? That's GNU/Linux [gnu.org] to you mister!
  • I guess that depends on what you are looking for in a city. Of your list, only reason d) and maybe e) would be something I would care about. Even then, education and the availability of tech jobs would be the most important. I couldn't give a rat's ass about diverse and/or interesting people to talk to.

    On the flip side, I would rather have Minneapolis' weather. I prefer nice artic-like winters compared to the wimpy Southern winters and the drivers who freak out when a few snowflakes hit the pavement. The summers in either place would be ok with me.

  • We may have a lot of people on the net, but everything sucks. Here in Northern VA, we may have a lot of people connected, but its all thru crappy ISPs such as Erols... We have nothing such as ADSL or even cable modem service. Broadband is just an unfufilled dream for me. I believe last time I checked around, there are only about 5 ISPs serving me with local numbers. =\ This is no techie haven.
  • Yes, this is very true. DC may have a lot of people with internet connections, but these are 28k and 56k modem connections. Much of the area isn't set up for DSL or cable modems, and ISDN is around $300 a month (I know, I looked into it). On the other hand, it isn't surprising that people have modem connections, since those run $10 a month from Erols.

    Claiming that an area which has a lot of people with modems doesn't make it any more "wired" than a place where everyone owns a telephone.
  • well, i live in DC [district of corruption] and everyone here who can start windows and browse the internet w/ frickin IE thinks they are somthing special. and dont even get me started on the kids in my old school that know about 2 MSDOS commands and think they are hackers. its ridiculous. and then people who have less skills than those of us in this area who are trained get better jobs than us because they took an MCSE class and didnt actually LEARN anything and just memorized crap from books. im sorry. im just mad. thanx. "life is like a video game with no chance to win" -atari teenage riot. neonmatrix@netscape.net
  • Double you double you double you dot some dumb site dot com.

    One would think that advertisers would set up intelligently-named multiple records, eg:


    and give the radio people a break! At least they're not pronounching the aych tee tee pee colon slash slash part. Yes, Prodigy, CIS and AOL really had something going with those simple English keywords.
  • Hello from fly-over land. I've personaly spent weeks in every major american city (buisness trips) and would like to share a few thoughts. All the DCers "we got da culchya" need to ask yourself "at what cost: culture?". yes, some areas are very nice (I've got family in the DC burb of Chevrley{sp?} and they are a very happy family). And, yes the metro system is truly a model for other city planners to follow. zip, yer at the mall zip, you're shopping, zip you're home...cheap..and no parking. North Joisey could learn from that example.

    I have to take exception with sich comments as "...except for when you have to listen to ignorant midwesterners who've never been here talk about how horrible DC is"

    [rant] Most of us have 'been there' and 'done that' and have settled into the rest of our lives in peace and harmony, building comunities, and raising families on solid footing. DC is a hole. Like so many empty calories in a BK drive-through, the town is filled with a psudo-educated transient society that couldn't care less about building a comunity . . . . . . . and it shows. [/rant]

  • Minneapolis has night life, good coffee shops and all that, but you wouldn't want to live there. It's safer to live in St. Paul(where you can actually park), and have fun in Minneapolis.
  • DC is still biult upon a damn swamp.

    Though the homeless seemed to have good manners.

  • And the place shuts down at 10PM. The day we moved here, we finished unpacking about 11 and wanted dinner -- tough luck (this is in SE. Georgetown is probably different.)

    To give the rest of the world some additional perspective on this, it was just decided that the Metro system will do a trial extension of weekend hours from midnight (the current closing time -- no, I am not making this up) all the way to 1 AM. This was after a big debate between extending weekend hours to 1 AM and the "radical" proposal to extend weekend hours to 2 AM.

  • The "Washington Area" often means from Fredricksburg, VA; to Winchester, and including Baltimore. It's an awful big area.

    On the flip side my own observation is that most of that area is about average or a little above when it comes to number of computers or Internet access. Then there are areas like Fairfax county which is just off the charts. Plus Arlington, Alexandira, Loudoun, and Montgomery also have high penetration of technology in most parts of those counties.

    I once heard a statistic (around `96) that there are more computers in homes in Fairfax than residents. Homes seems like a stretch (but close if not true), but if you count in computers in offices then the machines probably outnumber people 2 to 1. Many people have two or three machines on their desks to support different levels of classification. It's in interesting area.
  • The NYTimes had a similar story on Tuesday, which probably prompted this Post story. Interesting point: it says several studies show Metro DC has more engineers and programmers than Silicon Valley or Route 128.

    Read it, with free signup, here [nytimes.com]
  • Actually, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, CA (VC ground-zero) have more lawyers per capita than DC.

    (Frightening, huh?)
  • What are you talking about? I live in Mtn View and pay $10/mo. for my DSL connection.

    Okay, so Pac Bell made a billing error and forgot to charge me the other $39.

    The major Candian cities have access to cheaper Internet because their infrastructure is newer, and they have a concentrated population. It's hard to justify cable (let alone cable modems) in the Wyoming wilderness for the 3 or 4 people that would want it.

    However, Toronto and Montreal are by no means tiny cities. See if anyone along the circle in Canada has cheap access to broadband.

    Inner cities get hit twice. They have older infrastructure (built when the neighborhoods were mostly blue collar Caucasians), and they have less affluent residents. Thus, the wiring is expensive to upgrade, and you have a lower subscriber rate due to the fact that the residents aren't able to justify the expense.

  • Actually elderly people become very interested in the Internet when they learn that all their relatives have email. Lots of retired people just love writing and reading emails all day. It's becoming a big thing in at least the Naples area.
  • I find it ironic that, even though the DC area supposedly has the largest density of wired individuals, that there seems to be such a low literacy rate in the same area.

    In contrast, Silicon Valley is full of intellectuals. (I personally find it hard to believe that there are more wired people in DC than SV!) I personally find it probable that the report is including the type of person that has a computer and checks their email with it once or twice a day, and looks for sports, etc as a 'wired individual'.

    If this is the standard for a wired individual, I'm fairly nonplused.

    The difference is, in SV, most individuals actually know what they're doing on a computer, they know how to use how to use it to benifit their minds. In DC, people are most likely using the 'Net due to the fact that it is culterally hip to 'logon'. People in SV do it for the mere sake of knowledge - and in turn, make it hip.

    I personally see the reason for the use of the internet as directly proportional to the mindset of the people. Do because it's cool, or do because it can benifit your mind.

    And in no way am I saying the net isn't cool. It is. I just love it to death due to the massive amount of information available.

    I wonder if I could download 2GB in pi calculation from anywhere? :)


  • Dubya, Dubya, Dubya . . sounds like an ADD fer George W. Bush (his nickname being "W"). :)

    What I find most interesting about all these adds is the financial model that is now dominant on the web. A site needs eye balls - to view the adblurbs - to click through to the content - to get the thing/service/product/ that makes them money.

    How does a site drive eyeballs toward said sites? more ADDs! Amazon is a poifect example of this. The web isn't a boom for Ecomerce, it's a boom for advertising!

  • I wish HFS would just pay more attention to the ska/punk scene surrounding them and not the current top 20 hit songs.

    How was the last HFStival, anyways? The one at PSInet was horrible, just because it was too crowded...and there were too many little kids running around...and their parents were up in the good seats doing stuff I thought was silly to do at a concert. Like reading books or painting. I mean, if they were actually going to do that, couldn't they at least go up to the very top? Or something... rant rant rant :)

  • There is a large percentage of college grads
    around here, which is why the high-tech and
    internet stuff is so pervasive.

    This is in general a very educated area.

    Also, the high-tech numbers are based on DC and
    Northern VA. No. VA accounts for all the
    internet business, and most of the telcomm.

    I work for a startup in Herndon, VA, which is
    the town that claims to be the "internet
    capital" since most Internet traffic routes
    through there. Internic, AOL, etc.

  • a) A better theater scene. Half a dozen repertory troupes, plus a pile of others. We have our own french theater, our own Shakespeare theater, etc etc etc.

    That's *three* Shakespeare theaters. The Shakespeare Theater, Washington Shakespeare Company, and the Folger.

    I'm thinking of taking a turn out on the West Coast for a couple of years, and that's definitely going to be the thing I miss, the sheer depth of culture. Yeah, SF has a great opera and there's some fine museums here and there, but nothing like the range you get in places like DC and New York.

  • Who would that be, then?

  • My paycheque, and those of most readers here depends on that. Stop pushing flashy, kewl, electronic gadgets and software to people that do not need it and most of us would end up on pogy ( canadian for unemployment insurance )

    cheers, Frank
  • I go to American U and will promptly return to Boston upon graduation.

    1. Drop someone in SE DC and they *will* know they aren't in Kansas anymore

    2. Having seen a homicide at Union Station has kinda dampened my enthusiasm for walking around DC in general. Not that there is much of DC you can walk around anyhow.

  • somobody moderate this AC up. he's got a good point on the development of connectedness.

    cheers, Frank
  • It's all about love it or shove it :)
  • Not that there is much of DC you can walk around anyhow.

    The Smithsonian Institution museums.

    Adams-Morgan & Georgetown (lot of upscale, yuppie types).

    Let's not forget the 'burbs (Montgomery County MD and Tysons Corner VA come to mind).

    BTW, I've been in SE DC...helps if you fit in :).

  • Hey, You people send those yahoos here. The
    overwhelming majority of those clueless
    polititians weren't born and bred here.

    Also, you are spared the constant political
    ads on radio and TV we get here. Political groups
    target the DC area cuz of all the temporary
    vistors you send here.

    I was born in DC, I live in Maryland, and I work
    in Virginia. THANKS :}
  • How about instead dividing the total bandwidth available to a region by its area? The result would be a completely useless but semi-useful "bits per mile" number that we could put on maps. ;)
  • by cdlu ( 65838 )
    The Canadian Government has been working [connect.gc.ca] on making Canada the World's most connected country, and IIRC, CBC announced last fall that as much as half of the country has direct access, and there are thousands of CACI (Community Access Centres for the Internet)s across Canada allowing nearly every Canadian to get on line.

    Gotta love social democracy :) (I do, anyway)
  • Well, let's say 20% live above-ground, and are basically normal ppl that watch football instead of reading slashdot.
    I have a theory that the other 20% aren't wired to the internet because it would violate the strictest security protocols, and that they live underground and do weird, weird shat!
  • I wouldn't be surprised if it was my very own central wisconsin... yay, we get DSL in 3 years.

    Seriously, what area of the United States is the "least wired"?
  • I think my basement is more wired than 90% of the slashdot readership - but I'm not going to go out of my way to highlight this fact.

    Well, for starters I don't even have basement. But anyway, I'm sure my home is less wired than 90% of the slashdot readers' homes. The reason? Well, to be honest, I get enough of computers at home and at school, and 1 (yes, one!) computer is enough for me to run my irc and to let me read my email and to browse slahsdot. Can you believe it? I really don't need any more than just one computer at a time! And now comes the really spooky part: It's only a 133MHz Pentium! Geez. Still, it does everything I need it to do for me; IRC runs just fine, netscape runs even quite fast, it plays mp3s quite nicely, and I have no problems at all running StarOffice of Word Perfect with it. You probably think that it's impossible with such an old relic.. Well, actually, not everything is pre-historical in this computer; it has a quite modern cable modem Internet connection, which is probably quite much faster than your cable modems in the USA (at least if compared to the stories I keep reading in /., here it's really possible to get up to 600kB/s from the network (and that's kilobytes, not kilobits)). But that's what one really needs in a home computer now-a-days imho (at least if one doesn't play computer games, which of course require the fastest machine you can buy + a bit more).
    Pheef.. enough rant for now :-)
  • Interestingly enough, the people they interviewed as being online were a lawyer, a lobbyist, a communications consultant, a federal office-worker... but the only person not online they talked to worked in a 7-11. Did they look for someone in a office job who wasn't online and not find anyone, or did they just assume that it'd be easier to find someone to fit that bill in a convenience store?

    There really are two worlds in DC: one works for or with the government, and the other gets a shake of the head and a sigh from the first.

    How do you spell "class divide"?
  • Wrong wrong wrong. I'm very tired of hearing about what a shithole Washington DC is from people who don't live here. DC is:
    • Not one big ghetto. Even if I dropped you down in the "bad" parts of town these days, you probably wouldn't realize it.
    • Not full of politicians. I've never met a politician. I have a couple of friends who work for Senators, but most people I know either work for hi-tech companies or non-profits. There's an amazing amount of really really smart people here.
    • Extremely diverse-- I'm pretty sure there isn't a country on earth that doesn't have at least a few representatives living in DC. And I'm not talking about the embassies.
    Overall, it's a great place to live, except for when you have to listen to ignorant midwesterners who've never been here talk about how horrible DC is.

    We hope your rules and wisdom choke you....
  • I live in Maryland, DC metro area. BellAtlantic ADSL is widely available everywhere around here, and if BellAtlantic does not offer service in your area, there is always Flashcom [flashcom.com] and CAIS Internet [cais.com].

    I had mine since May. I have yet to see a friend who could not get a DSL connection even though he tried to. And BellAtlantic offers good service, I have a 640K link and am quite happy with it. Now this is the scene with Maryland, I know downtown Dc and Virginia are even better wired with many more connectivity options. Business grade DSL is available almost everywhere in the DC metro area, and the area is home to DIGEX, so no connectivity problems here.

    Looks like you're really misinformed about the area. DC area is a great place to live in, when it comes to Net connectivity. No cable modem service yet(at least where I live), but DSL wins hands down since it is very convenient to have a single bill for phone and Net.
  • Why does our (residents of the U.S.) government still work on ideas based on the notion that information only travels as fast as the horse? I do use the term 'work' lightly...

    It takes three hours for Congress to come to a vote on whether to let 'good old' Jesse Helms get out of his chair to take a crap (which would actually explain a few things if it were true), and about thirty years to decide whether to stop testing nuclear weapons.

    I guess it's not enough to have enough nukes to destroy the world several times over -- we need to do more R&D with fresh new information, so even more can be leaked to the Chinese! Beneath the tense surface of Sino-American relations, there's a lot of butt kissing going on by U.S. politicians on both sides of the floor -- in another 100 years, China won't have to be quite as nice.

    You can't moderate the truth, which this is unless you count the crack about Senator Helms...
  • I live in Fremont, CA where I have a cable modem (for $50/mo) and I'm moving to Mtn View home of Netscape and the new Microsoft campus) where the best I can do is DSL, with $400 in installation and hardware, and $79/mo for half the speed of my cable modem. It's bizarre that DSL would cost so much in one of the wealthiest parts of Silicon Valley, and AT+T/TCI still haven't got cable modems out there.

    In contrast my mother, who lives in Winnipeg (Canada's answer to Cleveland) can get a cable modem for CAN$39.95 or DSL from Manitoba Telephone/Bell Canada for CAN$49.95.

    All major urban areas in Canada now have DSL and most have cable modems. A basic unlimited dialup account runs as low as CAN$9/mo., and rarely more than CAN$20 even in isolated rural areas or the north. ISP access in Iqaluit costs less than in Indiana.

    I have hopes that this might spur some serious growth in Canadian tech buisness - I'll take Montreal over Palo Alto anyday. But, as I understand it, Finland and Iceland are still the ranking champions for 'Net access.

    Social democracy triumphs again. Smoke that, Mike Harris! :^)
  • They're right. My cable modem is extremely fast. There is DSL available to practically anyone who doesn't live in the sticks, ISDN is readily available (but QOS is questionable), and there are tens of independent providers for DSL (but all of the consumer-level and most of the business-level DSL services still use Bell Atlantic's facilities).

    The one major drawback to being so connected is that underground service line cuts seem to be a major problem in the region. The diggers keep the utility-locator services so busy that the locators can't seem to keep up... in most of western Fairfax county there is an ongoing major replacement of underground electrical transmission lines. That work has obliterated the cable system in some neighborhoods. My cable modem works fine on the downlink, but the uplink is suffering from a couple of local digging accidents that cut the line past my house. It still works, but it's really dogging it on the uploads. I noticed that the locator service did not mark the location of any of the cable-TV lines in the neighborhood, so it looks like they're going to bill the power company for the repair.


    Kriston J. Rehberg
    http://kriston.net/ [kriston.net]

  • Well, you are out of the loop. My ISP DigitalSelect has been selling DSL for at least a year. I have DSL and I live 30 minutes outside DC. I hope to take advantage of all these people that are getting online.

    Erols isn't the only one. Remember AOL is out here along with every other huge ISP. MCI, UUNET...etc.....

  • Don't forget Dupont. While not as... "interesting" as Adams Morgan (where I hope to move back to), it's still a pretty nice place for a stroll.

    Virginia scares me though. Went to a friend's condo the other day and I went to the wrong house three times. The first two, I wasn't even on the right street. It all looks the same...

    We hope your rules and wisdom choke you....

  • I find it ironic that, even though the DC area supposedly has the largest density of wired individuals, that there seems to be such a low literacy rate in the same area.

    The reason is that the 60% wired refers to the DC metropolitan area, which includes many affluent suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. If they limited it to DC city limits (like the literacy statistics), the number would be far lower.

  • Try Flashcom, they somehow manage to give DSL service in places Bell Atlantic can not. This is strange, one would expect Germantown to have DSL since it is home to lots of NIST employees.

    I live in Beltsville, and am 2700 ft. away from a Bell Atlantic central office. My phone line can support a 7.1Mbps DSL connection, the highest rate available from Bell Atlantic.
  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @09:55AM (#1607113)
    from the post story: Scarborough Research of New York, a service of the Arbitron Co., surveyed 170,000 adults in 64 major markets from February 1998 to February 1999. The researchers found it to be especially significant that five areas were at or above the halfway mark, meaning Internet use has entered the mainstream of society there.

    The article quotes a study done by Scarborough Research of New York [scarborough.com] whos research markets include 64 major media markets from Albany, to Wichita ... this research apears to be pretty solid.

    I can remember the first time seeing a URL in a print Add. The first time a URL was on the radio. Now, this year, the majority of the add money being spent on the Super Bowl will be done by internet related companies. It's good to see our little web all grown up. :)

  • Boy, am I glad I chose to go here at the University of Maryland (8 miles outside DC, baby!) While being this close to DC may not be a good thing, we still have good internet access, and we're getting 1.56Mb SDSL installed TOMORROW!!! WOOHOO NO MORE OF THIS MODEM BULLSHIT! (no thanks to Bell Atlantic, I might add)

    "Software is like sex- the best is for free"
  • Actualy, BEHIND the White House is the Elipse and behind that is the Washinton Monument and be hind that is the river and behind that is Virginia (no comment) and behind that is the rest of America, including "good 'ol" Minneapolis. Is that the ghetto you were talking about? Sure, There are ghettos in and around D.C. just as there are in most metropolitan areas.

    There are also alot of area residents that do not work for the gummit in any way, myself included. Perhaps you should think or learn before you spew flame bait all over these hallowed pages. Were you home schooled?

    Don't diss D.C. Have a nice day :)
  • but I wouldn't want to live in Minneapolis. Washington's got:
    a) A better theater scene. Half a dozen repertory troupes, plus a pile of others. We have our own french theater, our own Shakespeare theater, etc etc etc.
    b) A better classical music scene. Leonard Slatkin and the NSO. 'Nuff said. (and you can go to free concerts year round)
    c) A better music scene in general. Does Minneapolis have the 9:30 Club? I think not. How many bands actually tour through there anyhow?
    d) More interesting people to talk to. Washington is an extremely well educated city and is very diverse.
    e) A better location. I can get anywhere on the east coast relatively quickly. Minneapolis can't say that, and you're not even in California to make up for it!
    f) Better weather. Sure, the summers are too hot. But everyplace is airconditioned, and the winters aren't 40 below!

    I don't claim Washington is perfect. The traffic bites (officially worse than LA! woohoo!). And the city itself is a miserable place to live, due to years of mismanagement. Only 500,000 of 5e6 area residents live in the city -- you guessed it, the poorest 500,000 for the most part. The suburbs are very nice. Fortunately, the city does seem to be slowly turning around. But for all that, it's a beautiful city to visit, and the public parts (the Mall, pretty much all of NW) is very nice.

    Of course, what do I know, I'm stuck in Pittsburgh.
  • Unfortunately, I don't think it will be for a long time- phone service still reaches only ~98%, I don't think TV usage breaks %90, and the closest (in cost) comparable service is cable- which hits something like ~60% (IIRC). That is a big chunk of society that has no access whatsoever, and that won't change anytime soon, unless the government acts to subsidize access for the poor.
  • Want more demogrphic data on internet users? (free leisure activity profile) http://www.usadata.com/free_inter net_profiles.htm [usadata.com]

  • The South of course.

    I'd be willing to bet. My city is planning on cable modems in over a year, they just recently got 56k dialups. The extent of our provider choices are AOL, and the psi.net leases.


    kaniff -- Ralph Hart Jr
  • I wonder how the DMA size (Designated Market Area) affects these figures. They mention that Pennsylvania is included, and I know a few neighborhoods that have people who commute to Philly and people who commute to DC.

    If these areas are included in the DC DMA, then there's probably a lot of people who work in Philly included in the figures. Same thing for Baltimore.

    Is it really fair to include these 'mixed' neighborhoods in any one DMA? Especially if a large percentage consider themselves to be 'residents-in-self-imposed-exile' of another area?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Salt Lake City, where I live, is one of the top five. As far as workforce distribution goes, Salt Lake is a fairly normal city (unlike DC or San Francisco; sure, SLC has some high-tech, but not much), and here it's just kinda assumed that you're online. If you go into stores like REI [rei.com] (an outdoor supplies store which sells hiking, camping, rock climbing, kayaking, etc. gear), the sales people will routinely tell you to go to such-and-such a web site if you ask them for a product they don't carry. The radios and my mailbox are dripping with competing ads for *DSL and for cable-modem. Etc. It really is starting to become ubiquitous here.

    At the same time, though, I'd be willing to bet that the 50% here that are wired are mostly east of I-15, and the 50% who aren't are mostly west (which is the poorer side of town). Class distinctions are alive and well in the Internet age, unfortunately.
  • but I'm not going to go out of my way to highlight this fact???????????

    hate to break it to you, but you just did.

    My region of the country gets moderated up the most. oops! till now, that is.

  • Yes, ISDN is $300/month if you want a full time connection. I get by just fine with a $60/month 70 hour 2-B channel connection and never run over.

    Of course, I would ditch it in a second if they would give me DSL (less than 2 miles from MAE East and I can't get DSL.....@$#%!)
  • Keep in mind, though that SF is bigger than DC, and as a per capita, probably has fewer technology workers. DC has WAAYY too many defense contractors, etc. In fact, the Post had an article last week that IT workers now outnumber Govt. workers in the area.

    Also, SF has Pac Bell to deal with and while Bell Atlantic is dismal when it comes to service, Pac Bell is even worse (their DSL network was out for at least 3 days last week with no resolution in sight).
  • As much as it is not reflected in our elected officials (they are tourists in DC, after all, on a 2-6 year vacation), DC probably has more educated citizens than most other major metropolitan cities. There are no fewer than 5 world class institutions of higher education in the metro area and the statistics show that DC also has one of the highest percentage of post-secondary educated people in the country.

    Don't let the media fool you into believing that there are no educated people in DC - we are just smart enough to avoid publicity. :-)
  • I'm in Montgomery County and to have access from home, I:

    • Can't get DSL (but hey, I'm less than 2000 feet away from being able to get it. Too bad they're not planning on extending it any time soon).
    • Would have to pay $80/month for a telco-return cable modem.
    • Have to sign up with some over-subscribed ISP and get a second phone line.

    I miss my two-way broadband cable modem I had in Pittsburgh... 50 kilobytes per second on a busy night... *sigh*


  • by GPB ( 12468 )
    here it's really possible to get up to 600kB/s from the network (and that's kilobytes, not kilobits))

    That's 4.8 mbps, I'm impressed, although you'll forgive me if I'm still a bit skeptical.

  • My guess would be Wyoming. Last I checked (a few years ago) they had something like 600,000 people in the entire state. I'd be surprised if they all had telephones.


  • Judging from some of the comments (no I didn't read every single one but the ones that were moderated up were pretty ridiculous) no one has anything intelligent to say.

    First of all has any of you ever been to the Library of Congress? Last time I checked they get every book that is published in the world within hours of its publishing. That alone would make DC the information capital of the country if not the world. If you include the embassies and museums a pattern starts to form. Being wired would only be an extension of that.

    Contrary to popular milita rhetoric "real people" do live in DC. And guess what most of then are from somwhere else originally or at least one or two generations removed.

    We have lots of jokes about you guys (the tourists) that make the tech jokes against newbies seem docile.

    And to be a little more informative DC is really considered the Metropolitan Area including Northern VA and parts of MD. So then that would mean that the majority of the backbone providers actually exist in relative close proximity to DC. Hmmm... wonder why DC is the most wired city?

    Of course you all send your scummiest state residents here to represent you and then you rag on are our city because we have to live with your unwanted. What's the point?

    Not to mention the fact that we are taxed and yet have no vote in congress. Damn, I thought that was taxation w/o repersentation? No it's not says your reps, "DC can't be self-suffecient it's our playground!" That sucks. I know I am rambling and ranting but this shit is ridiculous anytime someone or something gets props that doesn't fit the tech status quo they/it gets raked over the coals on /. But then I read all these posts about how high the average intelligence on /. is. I beg to differ. I bet it looks just like a plain old bell curve.

    If you can't tell I have been totally Offended
    (once again).

  • That's 4.8 mbps, I'm impressed, although you'll forgive me if I'm still a bit skeptical.

    Yes, of course you are as you're supposed to be; But let me state some facts:
    First of all, I wrote "up to" - that means that this is the best I've got so far. Of course it's only possible in the middle of the night when there aren't many others using the same cable..
    On the other hand there are two things that makes the things a bit different between Lappeenranta (which is a small town in the middle of nowhere) and the big cities in USA (or even in Helsinki, which of course is still a small city in the USA scale..); Here we don't have that many users on this cable (this will of course change when more and more people get a cable modem; currently most of hardcore Internet users in Lappeenranta are already hooked to the 10Mbps campus network). And (this is very strongly linked to the previous statement) our modems are not limited to a certain bandwidth as most of the cable modem providers in USA do (at least not at the same amount; of course it would be technically impossible to get more than 10Mbps..).
  • This article, while seeming pretty well put together on numbers, fails to deliver on causes. The best they have to offer:

    Observers suggest several explanations for why Washingtonians, whether at home or at work, are the most wired. One is the close to 3,000 technology companies, whose approximately 250,000 workers not only are online but, consciously or not, proselytize their friends and families to get online, too.

    seems weak at best. Other areas in the US have huge concentrations of IT workers, chief among them San Francisco. If they talk to all their friends and their friends' friends and get everybody onto the net, why doesn't the Bay area have the lead for most wired? A better reason could be money: Metropolitan DC has the highest average income in the nation. So money correlates more closely to net connectivity than frequency of IT workers. Which means the best way to get your region better connected is to bring in more dollars, not necessarily bring in more tech companies.

  • I live in the thriving metropolis of Hartland, WI (pop. 1600 er something like that) and we currently have 2 competing DSL services in my area offering 640kx640k and Time Warner promising cable internet by Q4-99/Q1-2000. This is proof that you don't have to live in a crime-riden sespool (read:DC) just to get good net access.

  • With all the hoorah about it being the most wired community, I can't help but wonder where the most "wired for HIGH SPEED" community is.

    I heard something about (Oswego, Oslo, something like that), KY being heavily wired up, as their cable access is provided by their electic company, who also provides their internet. I know they have, what I consider to be very low ($20 a month) access charges, which probably makes a big difference.

    I guess what I'm getting at is, what city uses the most BANDWIDTH. I don't care about how many homes get on the net to check their email, or chat. I wanna know WHERE the most HIGH SPEED GEEKS are.

    Besides (and yes, I know all politicians don't live in DC, but I used to live there, and there are quite a few), I'd bet that the same cities that were listed highly in the article are also in the same contention for MOST WIRE-TAPPED... hehe. Oh well.

Porsche: there simply is no substitute. -- Risky Business