Maybe it doesn't matter as much if you're toward the back of the pack when the whole group is moving faster.
We were thinking about that while looking through the latest RootMetrics report about mobile service (data and voice) both here in the Albany area and across the nation. Because two things jumped out:
+ The Albany area ranked 112 out of 125 metros for overall mobile network performance. And the Hudson Valley ranked last.
+ But if you compare the individual service provider scores for Albany with that of Lansing, Michigan -- the #1 overall metro -- the difference isn't really that big. (Sprint and T-Mobile service were indicated to be worse here -- and Sprint's data speeds were way slower in Albany.)
That's not to say this area should be OK with such a low ranking -- especially if you're trying to tout yourself as "Tech Valley." But it's also an indication of how much better this stuff has gotten over the last few years, something that's easy to forget because most things digital now work relatively well compared to the past.
And it also highlights how performance maybe shouldn't be as much a prominent issue as access. We suspect for a lot of people a mobile connection to the internet is quickly becoming their primary method to connect -- especially for people with lower incomes. So the question of whether it's affordable and available widely is worth keeping an eye on. Because we're at the point now where it's hard to fully participate in the world -- socially, economically, culturally -- without a reliable connection to the internet.
By the way: On Wednesday, the Cuomo admin was again touting the goal to expand broadband internet access across every part of the state. And it specifically reiterated the pledge from Charter -- the new cable/internet provider for many households around after after the TWC merger -- to offer speeds up to 100 mbps by 2017.
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