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The Economic Perspective: “Achieving Internet for All”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at achieving internet for all.  Mike, Covid-19 has dramatically increased the use of home internet, both for work and for education.  Yet a commonly heard concern is the lack of high-speed internet connections in many of our small town and rural areas.  Is technology being developed that could make this easier?

 

Mike: Summary Answer

  • It’s likely internet in low density areas won’t be provided by cable lines
  • Instead, will be provided by low orbiting satellites
  • Concept has been around since the 1990s
  • But recently Elon Musk with SpaceX has been involved
  • Also rumored Amazon may consider it
  • The technology and economics aren’t there yet
  • But experts think eventually will
  • Benefit – each satellite can cover miles of area
  • I’m MW

 

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.