In Big Sky country, it just seems as if the sky is larger than anywhere else. Without any obstacles and towering objects such as skyscrapers cutting into the sky, the view just seems to go on forever. Now, while there are some truly amazing views available to anyone who lives in the Big Sky country of Texas, there are some subtle downsides to it. For anyone who relies on the Internet to conduct business, or at least wants to use the Internet to download music and watch videos, the faster fiber optic and cable connections just do not come out this far. With cable and Internet companies deeming the investment to install equipment into the area as not worth the hassle, it is up for residents to look for other options when it comes to connecting online. In all reality, there are only two logical options available: dial up and satellite.
Dial up has been the default Internet connection service for decades. Essential since the creation of the Internet, it has functioned over a phone line. While there have been some improvements, such as a user being able to connect on the Internet and still talk on the phone at the same time to slight bumps in connection speed, this is still an inferior system that takes far longer to load. While using a dial up Internet connection, the average web page load time sits at seven seconds. This is without any elaborate graphic interface, images or videos. If any of this content is found on the page it takes even longer (and chances are, these sorts of files are going to be embedded into the page). Due to this, it is necessary to seek out satellite Internet.
Satellite Internet comes in the form of HughesNet Texas Internet. With HughesNet, a satellite dish is installed onto the property just like the satellite dish for television services. Once in place, the satellite dish sends and receives signals from the satellite, allowing the user to log online at usually 10 times the connection speed of dial up (although the exact different has many factors, including the exact location in Texas). With the superior connection speed and the improved reliability, there really is no comparison. For anyone who needs to access the Internet, HughesNet is the way to go throughout Big Sky country in Texas.
Business Day addresses the place technology has in rural parts of Africa in a recent article by Shawn Hagedorn. Hagedorn considers the farthest corners of Africa, hidden from development of any kind, but even farther removed from something many people don’t give a second thought—technology.
Hagedorn is talking about rural communities— people so far from a major road they can’t market goods. Given the disadvantage of proximity, these people find themselves without a way to take part in economy. The core of industrialized societies, buying and selling goods, is not available for building the economy of these African locations.
The technology is a solution, but it is a solution that poses other problems. Sudden access to technology can offer African communities a chance to build economy through digital mediums, but it doesn’t fix the learning curve in an instant. Unlike industrialized civilizations that have access to technology, these people are lacking a certain level of knowledge that comes with living in an information age. It’s not an issue of ability, but an issue of access. It’s fortunate that the solution for rural Africa’s economic stagnation doubles as a solution for the lack of access to knowledge. These people can use access to technology to learn everything they need to know, and then they can use the same technology to build a thriving economic community.
Hagedorn acknowledges the potential pitfalls of placing technology in communities that haven’t even developed their own farming methods beyond the rudimentary ones they have used for generations. There are cultural elements to consider, such as the family dynamic. It’s important to consider how access to technology will divide generations. Children may become more knowledgable than their parents. Simple methods will begin to mix with complicated ones. Technology exposes relationships that have depended only on face-to-face interactions to the types of interactions industrialized communities have become accustomed to.
Wealthy industrialized nations can help rural African communities get this access to technology. As Hagedorn explains, whether for better or for worse, this goal is far more attainable than other types of help industrialized nations have offered rural Africa. This type of help can offer sustainable long-term benefits. Also, as Business Day points out, these same industrialized nations can learn a thing or two about priorities from rural communities, anyway. There is potential for a relationship that offers mutual benefits.