Our most current project has been a three-part overview of the status of U.S. broadband today. Separate projects produced reports summarizing recent developments in rural broadband, broadband competitors in urban areas, and broadband’s expanding role in healthcare. The research, still in pre-publication, was funded by a major research institution, where it is still in peer review at this early-April 2015 writing.
As a general conclusion, what we found was an ongoing tug of war: well-intentioned techies, activists, users and government agencies versus profit-maximizing carriers. In many cases, the broadband utopia envisioned by the dreamers and the PR people is not being realized in the day-to-day life of people who could greatly benefit from reliable, affordable high-speed Internet access — not exactly a surprise to those who follow the field. Idealists can hope for a better tomorrow. Cynics can shake their heads or shrug their shoulders.