Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mississippi map malarkey

A fundamental purpose of a map is to plan a route to an end point – a destination.  But when it comes to what’s called “broadband mapping,” the goal isn’t the destination.  In fact, this wasteful activity has resulted in a circular journey to nowhere, diverting precious resources that could otherwise be invested in building out Internet telecommunications infrastructure as this boondoggle out of Mississippi painfully illustrates.  

It’s a good thing the United States chose not to remedy the market failure that produced large gaps in electric power and telephone service availability in the early part of the 20th Century by engaging in folly such as drawing up maps of existing electrical and telephone service and promoting electricity and telephone adoption where there was no service.  If that had been the policy, many areas of the nation might not have had power or telephone service until well into the 1950s and 1960s.

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