So why don't US citizens get this?

Scott McGrath mcgrath at
Mon Jul 28 14:37:09 UTC 2008

Actually ubiquitous power came from a government mandate and funding 
known as the Rural Electrification Act.    The former Bell system left 
many areas of the country without telephone service and the same act set 
up the "Rural Telco's" to this day I am served by "Kearsarge Telephone 
Co" at home which serves a large chunk of Central NH.

Ultimately the 'Market' always fails in corner cases and Government in 
the form of regulation and sometimes funding needs to step in as human 
nature never changes and greed still dominates in the end not so much 
that these areas are unprofitable to service it's just that with the 
same investment more money can be made elsewhere.   From a accounting 
standpoint this is rational behavior from a societal standpoint this 
behavior is counterproductive.  Government is not 'The Answer" as many 
people feel but it does have a valuable role in balancing financial and 
societal needs.   

One of the societal needs today is reasonably priced high speed internet 
otherwise the US will fall behind in developing next generation network 
services as low speed DSL simply does not get the job done reasonably 
priced does not mean $100US for a 384/768 "Business DSL" which is the 
only thing I can run VPN over.    This infrastructure is important today 
as electricity was in the 20's and 30's

Laird Popkin wrote:
> On Jul 28, 2008, at 9:54 AM, John Levine wrote:
>> In article <2B12539A-2240-455C-9CE4-06F1DFA94E00 at> you 
>> write:
>>> Sort of makes one wonder how the US came to have ubiquitous roads, or
>>> power, or water distribution...
>> Oh, but that's different.  They were important.
> Or, to be more specific, people everywhere need power and water and 
> were willing to pay for them, so other people started companies to 
> provide them everywhere. Roads are a little more complicated - the 
> basic roads were there due to demand, but the highways got built 
> because the Army argued that without highways they couldn't move 
> troops and supplies to defend the country in case of an invasion. The 
> same trick got science funded for a while... :-)

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