6 thoughts on “Broadband In The Boonies”

  1. I wrote a piece for O’Reilly’s Emerging Telephony site about this, except from an international perspective. I am currently in South America setting up an office for Radio Handi. I can get cheap broadband service here, several megabits for about the same price as in SF, except everything else, property, wages, etc is actually reasonably priced. And contrary to the myth that all of the smart people in the world went to Stanford (or MIT), there are a lot of smart people here looking for work that pays well and won’t make them go brain dead. Silicon Valley is a great place to network and raise money, but as a place to actually do business, it is highly overpriced.

    Hint for entrepreneurs: look for cities where big tech firms have outsourced their IT and support operations. You’ll find lots of smart people with really shitty jobs that they’ll quit in an instant given a decent opportunity.

    Article URL –> http://www.oreillynet.com/etel/blog/2006/07/creatingaglobalpbxwith_ast.html

  2. As a small business owner I’m open to the concept of rural staff, but hiring the wrong person would be catastrophic at this stage. Phone/e-mail/chat doesn’t allow you to really get to know someone — I can’t imagine having an employee that isn’t in the office most of the week. I think the big winners for broadband are small & medium metro areas, especially college towns where workers are educated and inexpensive.

    I moved my business HQ from California to Arizona at the beginning of the year, primarily for the following reasons:

    1) Thanks to broadband, we can work from just about anywhere
    2) Diverse labor pool in a large metro area
    3) Lower average wages
    4) Affordable home prices
    5) Lower state income tax (5.04% vs. 9.3%)
    6) Small business-friendly employment laws.

    An unexpected benefit is that PHX is a hub for Southwest Airlines. This means I have a direct flight to most major airports in the US!

    Summers here aren’t that bad, by the way. Both broadband and A/C are pervasive.

  3. Great Article.
    Putting a twist on this…when we talk of Boonies we are not just talking of small towns in the US or Canada…but the Boonies include the developing world such as India, Pakistan, and Vietnam.
    These places…it took 3 days to make a phone call out of the country back in the early 90’s…now they are getting “wired” but are still the “Boonies” in terms of tech.
    These countries now have rapidly growing tech sectors but are concentrated in the major cities like Karachi, Lahore, Ho Chi Min City.
    It is possible to get internet access in their 2nd and 3rd tier cities but its very expensive Satellite Internet access.
    If they can get “wired” in their 3rd tier cities they too will be able to increase productivity.

  4. The issue of increasingly difficult commutes, both due to rising housing and fuel costs, should not be ignored. In the US, at least, this may do more than anything to cause an increase in broadband availability.

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