Posted by Tom Foremski - June 28, 2010
I first came to San Francisco/Silicon Valley in 1984 and over the years I've marveled at how behind the times this high tech region of the world truly is when it comes to broadband access and cell phone networks.
You would think that the world's capital of high tech would be well served with great broadband and also great cell phone connectivity. Yet it's not.
The same cell phone black spots are still in the same spots year after year; we have the same lack of broadband access in most areas of the Silicon Valley region.
And even though there are many vocal complainers nothing much changes. For example, because there are now so many iPhone users in this region you get to see a lot of chatter and complaints about AT&T's network. Yet AT&T could avoid all this negative publicity if it simply invested more in its network here, and elsewhere such as New York and LA, where the chattering classes of the digerati Tweet and blog.
A relative small investment in key regions and much of AT&Ts negative publicity would pretty much disappear, even if the problems were shifted to other parts of AT&T's network. The digerati don't really care about the the middle states, for instance, AT&T could pull some money from there and invest it in the places where people have the loudest complaints - here. But it doesn't.
For years people living in Silicon Valley have complained about the lack of broadband, and how they can't get decent cell phone coverage in their homes, or have to stand in the street to get a signal.
This all has to be deliberate - how else to explain ignoring such an influential region. There has to be a systematic policy by the Telcos to make sure that Silicon Valley has some of the worst connectivity in the US and that this poor state of connectivity is maintained year after year.
It's statement by the Telcos that says, "We are in control, you can't disrupt us Silicon Valley, with your fancy shmancy technology, and your startups. Try calling your Congressional representative on your cell phone."
I've often said that the Telcos are modern Luddites, interested in keeping us a decade or three behind the rest of the world because it's profitable. The US Telcos charge some of the highest rates in the world for phone, mobile, and cable TV (France Telecom for example, charges just 30 Euros ($37) for all three, I can't get one service for that price.)
The Telcos hate Silicon Valley because it wouldn't take that much extra investment to make sure it's wired right.
How else can it be explained?