Monday, April 30, 2007

Emerging fault line of the digital divide: new vs. older neighborhoods

The outlines of a new fault line along America's digital divide separating broadband haves from broadband have nots is becoming more and more apparent.

The split is between older, established neighborhoods and newer subdivisions, the latter often governed by a homeowner association. Telcos and cable companies like these developments because they believe new homebuyers will purchase more profitable bundled services such as the so-called "triple play" package of voice, high speed Internet access, and video programming. They can also negotiate exclusive deals with the association that lock out other providers and assure a higher take rate.

This is leaving older neighborhoods currently without broadband with greatly dimished prospects for ever getting broadband as providers effectively redline these areas, concentrating instead on new developments. This is bound to produce a political backlash from homeowners in older neighborhoods who will increasingly turn to their local governments for a solution. That in turn will drive incentives for public-private parterships in which local governments provide public rights of way for the construction of open access broadband telecommunications networks.

No comments:

Web Analytics