Tom Friedman started his op-ed piece in today's New York Times by suggesting that he'd run for office on a one-issue platform: He'd promise to make America's cell phone service as good as Ghana's.
Friedman points out that our technological infrastructure is actually falling behind the rest of the world—in addition to frustrating cell phone coverage, our broadband connectivity has fallen to 16th in the world. As he points out in his book, The World is Flat, the advantages we've grown up enjoying in the U.S. are evaporating, and these technological deficiencies will have a direct result on our wealth and productivity.
Ask he asks in the article, do we depend on private companies to provide better connectivity for us, or is it not in their interest to make access easier and more ubiquitous?
A month ago I opened my laptop in a coffee shop in a 150 year old building in Jerusalem and was immediately connected to the Internet, for free, because the center of town has been set up for wireless access. The only place that has happened to me in the U.S. is the Roanoke Airport—not exactly the center of our universe.