Recently, I posted about using Google Plus, Skype and other modern technologies as effective ways to bring family reunions to the whole family – even when many can’t make it in person.
Following that post, I went with my family to a wonderful reunion in Bear Lake Utah and Idaho where we had a great time reminiscing, water skiing – and enjoying quality time as a family. Sure enough, not everyone could be there.
I grabbed my smartphone – no signal. I grabbed my laptop – no signal. I was up a technological creek.
One family member experienced a work emergency and was forced to drive around trying to find a strong-enough signal to get him on the Internet to solve the problem.
However, I was able to receive emails – on a boat in the middle of Bear Lake. I also connected with the world while riding our rented ATVs – but not from the comfort of the cabin.
Yesterday, Google announced the availability of Google Fiber. An ultra-high speed Internet based on wired fiber optics, it is 200 times faster than my already-fast connection at my Provo (Utah) office. Right now, it is only available in Kansas City and is a test of what the future might look like. Read more about Google Fiber.
There are still many US locations – such as Bear Lake (Utah and Idaho) – where it’s difficult to get a connection. Fiber is a wonderful idea, but it doesn’t help to span the digital divide – it only makes it greater. Although Google Fiber offers free broadband connections for the masses – and ultra-high speed for those willing to pay for it – what about rural areas? (more…)