Re: the 'Disconnected Dozen'

Dave Long (
Thu, 29 Jul 1999 21:52:50 -0700

> Twelve states in the US have become digital ghettos because not enough
> cash has been invested in advanced digital networks.

Or have they become digital ghettos because they were already
industrial ghettos?

> by US Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) and Rick Boucher (D-Va)

cui bono? certainly not the beltway broadband companies...

> According to the report, millions of Americans are missing the benefits of
> the emerging digital economy because regulations have slowed deployment of
> the high-speed Internet backbone.

Horrors. By the states given, and some outdated census data, we
figure ~17 million Americans, or ~6% of the population. Only four
of those states have more people than Orange County, CA, and once
you toss in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties, you're in the
ballpark. The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island CMSA alone
probably has more people.

> iAdvance claims there are simply not enough backbone hubs being built to
> provide access to consumers and businesses.

What if they aren't being built because those states currently are
relatively deficient in consumers and businesses?

> The "Disconnected Dozen" are: Alabama, Arkansas, New Hampshire, Idaho,
> Iowa, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia
> and Wyoming.

I've appended lists of annual pay averages and largest metropolitan
area for these states. Generally, the "disconnected dozen" fall
near the bottom of nationwide rankings, indicating that they didn't
have much of a pre-digital economy, and aren't likely to be
attractive areas for private investment.

None of the MSA's listed seems like a hotbed of industry, but that
could just be my own ignorance. I am told that Oklahoma City's
claim to fame is that (at least recently) it has more than one
Burger King.

New Hampshire seems like an outlier on the annual pay front, but
being part of the Boston (MA-NH) PMSA may mean backbone hubs in
MA and urban salaries in NH.

The labs, etc. probably have something to do with NM's connectivity;
anyone have any guesses as to why MS would have hubs?

So, without further formalization, it seems to me that hubs exist
in places where there are large, active economies. I'm not sure
from this clipping what the "regulations" referred to may be; if
they're just measuring number of independent service providers in an
area, it stands to reason that no one with scarce resources would
bother competing with an RBOC (or building hubs) in areas that
provided less attractive investments than those available elsewhere.

I suppose I need to track down the original paper to see if the
authors actually dealt with this, and it's just been lost in the


Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, State and Metropolitan
Area Data Book 1997-98, table A-21 and A-22.

State Annual Pay Rank
----- ---------- ----
US 28945 X
New Hampshire 27691 19
Alabama 25180 31
West Virginia 24075 37
Maine 23850 39
40 New Mexico
Iowa 23679 41
Idaho 23353 42
Oklahoma 23329 43
Wyoming 22870 45
Arkansas 22294 46
47 Mississippi
North Dakota 21242 48
Montana 21146 49
South Dakota 20724 50

Source: MA-96-8 Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan Areas
(ranked by 1996 population size): July 1, 1996

[I could easily have goofed here...]

largest MSA in State (level)
Oklahoma City, OK MSA B
Birmingham, AL MSA B
Little Rock, AR MSA B
Des Moines, IA MSA B
Boise City, ID MSA B
Charleston, WV MSA ?
Portsmouth-Rochester, NH-ME PMSA C
Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN MSA C
Sioux Falls, SD MSA C
Billings, MT MSA ?
Cheyenne, WY MSA D

For those familiar with CA, here are some comparable MSAs:
Orange County A
Salinas B
San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles C