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The Sustainable Network by Sarah Sorensen

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Chapter 20. Is Broadband Really That Important?

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Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can it be? Could the amount of broadband available to your country or state be as important as your roads? Or your schools? Or your environmental policies? Can the implications of the network be so far-reaching that the amount of broadband directly available to you directly affects the quality of your life and the opportunities for your happiness, success, and longevity?

This book exists to say that broadband is that important. This book predicts that the next 20 years hinge on broadband penetration and capacity—how to deliver more of it to more people. It’s the Sustainable Network Law: the more broadband made available to network users, the faster sustainable network innovation occurs. To put it another way, broadband is the enabler of the sustainable network.

And if you haven’t noticed, the world seems to agree. Broadband penetration is now one of the leading economic indicators analyzed when evaluating current economic performance and predicting future performance. In 2007 and 2008, countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands, and Iceland had the highest broadband penetration rates, while the U.S. ranked 15th, according to results produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)[245] (see Figure 20-1 ...

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