According to the 2010 U.S. Census, about 20% of the population lives in rural areas. While that does not seem like a lot in terms of percentages, it’s about 59 million people.
I am one of those 59 million people.
I am writing this post because I am also a person who does not have a fast Internet connection speed at home because of where I live.
So what does this mean?
Answer # 1: CLOUD-BASED SOFTWARE IS NOT FOR PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN RURAL AREAS.
Yes, I did mean to shout that because all to often, many people forget that what works well in an urban, or even suburban environment is impossible to do in a rural location.
In the case of cloud-based software, we probably can’t do it because we don’t have a fast connection. Personally, I’m avoiding upgrading my Adobe Photoshop 6 (and that’s 6, not CS 6) to anything that is a newer version because they are cloud-based.
I want the software that I have to install on my computer.
I do NOT want the software or services that make me connect to the Internet to use them.
Speaking of connecting to the Internet…
Answer #2: WE WHO LIVE IN RURAL AREAS WILL NOT WATCH LARGE VIDEOS OR USE STREAMING VIDEO SERVICES LIKE HULU.
Either we can’t get fast Internet connections or we can’t afford the ones that may be offered to us because they are so high-priced. If we rural folk have smart phones (and we do), why can’t we just use our smart phones to connect to the Internet or tether our computers to our phones and use this as a way to connect to the Internet?
Well we can, but now we are using our precious data minutes so we avoid anything that will cause us to go over our monthly limits.
So contrary to what is being advertised on TV by the cellular carriers, we are probably not watching TV on our phones. And this is assuming that we are even able to watch a video without the circle-of-death loading experience that assaults use when we try to even load the videos.
But isn’t the U.S. one of the top countries where we citizens have high speed Internet access? No. Shocking to some, but no.
Not only does the U.S. not have the fastest Internet connection speeds, but we also do not have the most people using high speed internet (on this link, look at the excel spreadsheets you can download under “Time Series by Country”).
IT’S NOT NECESSARILY OUR FAULT THAT WE WHO LIVE IN RURAL AREAS DO NOT HAVE FAST INTERNET CONNECTION SPEED
In 2010, Finland law made it a legal right to have high speed internet for it’s entire populate. That was just amazing, I thought. And then I read that Finland had a population of 5.2 million and is about the size of Michigan (with our upper and lower peninsulas, of course).
Compare that to the U.S. and realize the facts are that:
1. The U.S. is physically large in size
2. 57 million of us live in rural locations
3. And of those that live in rural locations, many of us do not have high speed Internet access.
So please, when you read about all of the news of cloud-based this, or video that, or even the Internet of Things, understand that we rural inhabitants are excited by these developments, but they may just not be possible for us to use.
And now I must end this post because that animated gif I included above has enraged me fully.