Getting to a gig: How CenturyLink is building out its network and why. — Tech News and Analysis: “But because of densities and scale economics, we as a country are potentially creating regional digital divides that our economy will struggle to tolerate. What’s always been a key enabler for us is that we have always had a fairly broad equal opportunity infrastructure as we did with the highway system, and we as a country must place a high value on the ability to communicate seamlessly. I don’t think we want to place ourselves in the position that we might miss out on the next Google simply because we as a country didn’t want to have a conversation about access and cost. We are going to have to figure that out and no private company can do that.”So said Matt Beal, the CTO of CenturyLink, an an interview with GigaOM. And he's right. Either private providers have to find business models that significantly reduce the cost of labor to deploy fiber to the premise and/or do so with some form of government subsidy or tax incentive. As I've blogged in recent months, even companies with pockets and fiber to the premise ambitions as deep as Google's aren't up to the challenge facing the United States.