New submitter lesedeuezghe writes with this Wired story by W. Ralph Eubanks about the efforts of the Extension Service to broaden its scope from mostly agricultural information to bringing broadband to rural communities. "In sleepy public libraries, at Rotary breakfasts, and in town halls, he [Assistant Extension Professor Roberto Gallardo] gives PowerPoint presentations that seem calculated to fill rural audiences with healthy awe for the technological sublime. Rather than go easy, he starts with a rapid-fire primer on heady concepts like the Internet of Things, the mobile revolution, cloud computing, digital disruption, and the perpetual increase of processing power. ('It’s exponential, folks. It’s just growing and growing.') The upshot: If you don’t at least try to think digitally, the digital economy will disrupt you. It will drain your town of young people and leave your business in the dust. Then he switches gears and tries to stiffen their spines with confidence. Start a website, he’ll say. Get on social media. See if the place where you live can finally get a high-speed broadband connection—a baseline point of entry into modern economic and civic life."
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