Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mainers, the World and the Future

I can't think of a place I would rather live than Maine -- in particular the town of Northport on Penobscot Bay. A half century ago there were hen houses on this land. I picked and packed eggs and pitched chicken manure. It was bucolic, but with a strong olfactory accent.

Last year we moved back to a tight new house dropped into the marine clay that once bore the largest of those farm buildings. In the winter we can see salt water through the leafless trees.

Yet for all the beauty of the surroundings, we still cherish connections to the world -- to family and friends, to institutions and businesses and information resources near and far. It is just so clear that fast, reliable and affordable links to the world at large are an important part of a rewarding life and a successful economy.

This blog is dedicated to following, summarizing and opining about the extension and enhancement of broadband data services in Maine. The structure of the blog will aid in my efforts to learn more about the issues and the technology. I hope that in the process of restating things to enhance my own understanding I will also provide a bit of insight for others interested in the same matters.

Among the topics I expect to follow in future posts:
  • Roll-out of the Three-Ring Binder Project
  • Activities of the Connect ME Authority
  • Service enhancement/extension announcements of Maine ISPs
  • Descriptions of key technologies
  • Analysis and opinion, at time as idiosyncratic as all get out
  • Links to sites of interest, relevant articles, etc.
I will try to make my biases clear, where they bear on what I write. I am a retired librarian and library technologist. I like open, unfiltered info in large quantities and easily accessed. I like the free market of ideas, and free markets in general. I see "disruptive" technologies as nearly always bringing far more good than bad to people. However, I recognize the need for a modicom of enlightened and dynamic regulation as the resulting major social transitions take place. Whether across the left-right political spectrum, or within a triangular constellation that includes the libertarian perspective, mine is a radical centrist perspective.

Maine's economic future depends on several factors. High capacity, affordable communications services are not the only need. If we could institute some ideal and ubiquitous service tomorrow our economy and our people would not instantly become prosperous. In other words, broadband by itself is not a magic bullet. Rather, if our people, businesses and institutions fail to gain access to high quality connectivity, it will be a bullet to the heart of all other efforts to lift Maine into a better state. Ubiquitous broadband not one of several aspirational targets for economic development, but rather an admission ticket without which most of the other targets don't even come into view.

Should you choose to follow my reports and consider my opinions, welcome! If you think I have missed the mark, let me know. Over the next few weeks I will be enhancing the blog with the addition of one or more feedback and discussion options. Watch for them.

-- Karl Beiser

1 comment:

  1. Karl, Thanks for alerting the library world to your blog. I look forward to hearing more blogthoughts about school libraries and technology. I'm interested in knowing more about the Three-Ring Project. Glad to know I can still find you online.


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