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Internet connectivity in the US is in the midst of a transition from desirable innovation to essential  infrastructure. The transition is following the paths taken by electricity, water, and other goods and services that were once private offerings but are now considered infrastructure.

This project explores ways to accelerate that transition.

But what does it mean to be infrastructure? And where are we in this process?

The site will be unfolding over the next few months. In the meantime, please subscribe to our newsletter so that you’ll always be informed of the latest updates!

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Happy PI Day! Release 0.16.0 is available.

The latest version (0.16.0) of the I3 Connectivity Explorer incorporates further details from the Census about broadband subscription rates, including categories like mobile only,  satellite only,  and households without any internet subscription. On map pages, you can now overlay a second demographic with the base map. Selecting select a bar in one histogram chart highlights the …

I3 Connectivity Explorer: A Fresh Release

December,  2018,  brought gifts of data from both the Census and the FCC. These new data sets are now incorporated throughout the Connectivity Explorer. The new Census data (released December 6, 2018) adds information about broadband and computer usage across the US.This is a rich set of data that contains many fascinating relationships. I’ll be adding …

Internet is Infrastructure

Internet connectivity (the lower-level, packet-shipping parts) in the U.S. is presently in a transition from privately-held and operated ventures into fundamental infrastructure. This transition is following the historical paths taken by other aspect of our infrastructure, like water, gas, and the electrical grid. Each of these started out as a novel invention, and each became so essential to modern living and the economy that they became “infrastructure”.

The transition into infrastructure is never quick, nor easily accomplished. For example, it took social intervention — organized through government agencies and deployed via public-private partnerships — to complete rural electrification. The existing electric companies were strong influencers throughout the process. The effort gave rise to electric coops in areas where it was too costly for a single investor (e.g. a electric company) to build out.

It is past time to be thinking about this process, what it will mean, and how it will be accomplished. The transition already underway, yet the timeline remains indistinct. The starting point is to look at where we are now, both in terms of deployment and policy, and then to look towards a future of trusted, reliable, affordable, and ubiquitous connectivity on top of which communities and companies thrive. Please join!

Stay in touch!

The Center for Internet as Infrastructure manages two mailing lists: one for general announcements and one for users of the I3 Connectivity Explorer. Please join us there. A user support forum will go live shortly.

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