There's about 2,000 towns with fewer than 60,000 residents that can't find companies to build city-wide WiFi networks. Despite many of them having issued RPFs, top-tier providers are set on chasing the big contracts in Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia rather than Smallville, Kansas. Most of the cities are seeking these networks because existing cable and telephone operators simply will not roll out high-speed services; Brigham City joined UTOPIA for that reason. (Ironically, both Comcast and Qwest started offering high-speed options after that announcement.) With the new digital divide becoming a case of urban versus rural, this lack of interest is a disturbing trend, especially since the feds offer grants for rural broadband.
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