A recent study by the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reports that more than half the global population remains unconnected to the Internet.
The biggest barrier to addressing this digital divide is incumbent telecommunication providers that focus on near term profit in building out infrastructure, rather than the long-term benefits to local communities than come from connectivity.
Building out state of the art fiber-optic infrastructure to homes and businesses – the last mile – can be expensive although there have been many public-partnerships to build out the middle mile in areas where residents remain underserved.
The long wait for profitability in areas that are economically disadvantaged and/or have low population density is imply not attractive to business that are most concerned about the next quarterly report to their shareholders.
The next generation 5G wireless services are much faster but have shorter range – so the bottleneck to better connectivity for everyone will increasingly be a wireless last mile to existing fiber in the middle of the global telecommunications network.
The solution is what I have termed a Zoetic Network – zoetic is term relating to life and biological processes. Zoetic Networks use biological processes as the inspirational springboard to create business and organizational models that can combine aspects of traditionally (often adversarial) roles of customer, employee, manager, investor and owner.