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A solution in search of a need

A reader writes that we're experiencing a broadband backlash, mainly because it has yet to find that "compelling need" necessary to attract businesses and consumers.


A solution in search of a need

In response to the March 14 Perspectives column by Bruce Sachs, "Hollow promises and the wireless Web":

It's an old platitude, but there's something to be said for "putting the cart behind the horse."

Today, we're experiencing a broadband backlash. This is mainly because broadband service has yet to find that elusive "compelling need" necessary to attract a wide range of businesses and consumers. Recent statistics show that e-mail remains the most popular application on the Net, serving the primary need of at least 50 percent of predominantly dial-up subscribers. They have few interested in broadband service.

Broadband is available in four flavors, arguably in the following order of demand and customer satisfaction: cable, DSL, satellite and wireless services. With perhaps hundreds of thousands of miles of fiber installed in the late 1990's, we've only succeeded in piling up massive debt that resulted in the demise of many of the largest broadband players. Most of this fiber remains dark, waiting for the next investment by brave souls with deep pockets to complete the challenge of installing the last mile.

Until this is accomplished--hopefully by the private sector and not at taxpayer expense--the last table to be served will be the wireless Web.

Dennis Jugan
Johnstown, Pa.



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