The Information Superhighway to Nowhere, CA

Posted by Stranded in Sonoma

Remember when California was the technology leader in the United States? Remember when California was the technology leader in the WORLD? Remember when Silicon Valley was the place to be for your high-tech company, established or start-up? Remember when California would do all it could to attract high-tech innovators and leading edge technology?

Of course you remember it because none of the above is the case now and hasn’t been for some time. Oh sure, Google is still there, along with Apple and Hewlett-Packard. But when was the last time you heard of major progress in the high-tech industry being exhibited in California? All we get now are liberal tax and spend boondoggles like the “high speed” rail that will just become another big hole in the ground into which tax money is poured.

Google’s new innovation, Google Fiber, is a fiber optic network that allows 1 gigabit internet speeds into your home. If was first introduced in Kansas City and just recently in Austin, Texas. Now, most people are probably doing fine with what they have. They don’t need that much speed and may not see major improvement over what they have now. But this is kind of like Highway 101 in Marin and Sonoma counties. For the longest time, U.S. 101 got little improvement over its original implementation. In 1973-74, it was moved east of Novato so you no longer had to drive through the city. Just before the Novato improvements, a new viaduct was built in San Rafael as an adjunct to the original one that only allowed 2 lanes of traffic per direction. Sonoma County got zero improvements until the mid to late 1990s. Unfortunately, as the population grew due to the migration from Marin to Sonoma, U.S. 101 stayed the same. Most of that migration happened in the 1980s. At one point, the section of 101 including Petaluma and the Cotati Grade was seeing over 90,000 vehicles an hour. It is now 2013 and most of the approved upgrades have finally been finished for Sonoma County. Those should have been done 20 years ago. Highway 101 south of Petaluma and north of Novato, where Marin and Sonoma counties meet, has changed just once when an overpass to the county dump was built due to the number of fatal accidents with cars and trucks trying to cross the north-bound lanes of traffic. That section is still just a divided highway and not a freeway.

Now picture that type of people/traffic backlog on the web. Eventually we will need to start upgrading all of our networking infrastructure. We need to do this now before the old infrastructure no longer meets the needs of the growing number of internet users. But not in California! Here is Google’s reasoning why.

Many fine California city proposals for the Google Fiber project were ultimately passed over in part because of the regulatory complexity here brought about by CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] and other rules. Other states have equivalent processes in place to protect the environment without causing such harm to business processes, and therefore create incentives for new services to be deployed there instead.

In other words, California is where technology, innovation, progress, and intelligence go to die. Do you have a great idea for some technological improvement that will benefit millions? Don’t bother with California. All you’ll get are rules and regulations designed to thwart progress, stifle business, and kill innovation. That is the socialist way in California.

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