The burrowing of broadband into the far corners of the country, many experts say, is decentralizing the opportunities for business expansion and startups, particularly in the tech industry. It gives communities far from the bright light-emitting diodes of Silicon Valley, Boston’s Route 128 tech corridor, and other big-city tech showcases a real shot at luring tech entrepreneurs. At the same time, it gives entrepreneurs new, low-cost launching pads for their ideas?not to mention exit ramps from the rat race.
That trend is now accelerating. The Seattle Times in an excellent article describes how broadband is spreading the innovation engine into the tiny hamlets, some with population of less than 400 people. The article profiles a tiny company, HomeMovie.com, based in a tiny town of Winthrop, Washington. Thanks to fiber optics and wireless broadband, employees like Rachel Evans are enjoying blissful life,
It’s more than three hours by car to the nearest freeway exit, two hours to movie theaters and shopping malls. It’s a place where, as late as 2001, folks in certain canyons were struggling to get phone service. Four hours from Seattle, a century-wide gap in telecommunications.No more. These days, fiber-optic cables run like a river down the valley. Microwave towers beam data from peak to peak.
The Seattle Times notes that most of rural Washington state is now wired, and by bringing down the costs of living and opterations by moving to these remote locations, companies don’t have to outsource, but can in source. Amazon and Yahoo have moved some of their service centers in the Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, while HouseValue.com is working out of Yakima. We all know about Google’s server farms in The Dalles. Yahoo and Microsoft are following suit. I think this is a trend most people should watch.
Seriously folks, if you have time this Sunday, I urge you to read this article. It is how broadband changes lives.