Utah’s Digital Infrastructure

NYTimes reports on a landmark effort by the state of Utah:

In a 21st-century twist on Roosevelt-era public works projects, Salt Lake City and 17 other Utah cities are planning to build the largest ultrahigh-speed digital network in the country.

Construction on the project is scheduled to start next spring – if the cities can raise the money to pull it off. The network would be capable of delivering data over the Internet to homes and businesses at speeds 100 times faster than current commercial residential offerings. It would also offer digital television and telephone services through the Internet.

With a $470 million price tag, the project is considered one of the most ambitious efforts in the world to deploy fiber optic cables, which carry data in bursts of light over glass fibers.

The cities involved argue that reliable access to high-speed data is so important to their goals of improving education and advancing economic growth that the project should be seen as no more controversial than the traditional public role in building roads, bridges, sewers and schools – as well as electric power systems, which are often municipally owned in the Western United States.

This is what India needs to do – recognise that the digital infrastructure is as important as the physical infrastructure, and remove all restrictions on the sectors.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.