More than a century ago, the Sears Roebuck catalog arrived in the mailboxes of rural Americans and changed their lives. It didn’t just make fine toilet paper: shoppers could order everything from clothing to guns to entire houses and have it delivered to their homes. Now online shopping has opened the world up even more to rural people, letting them buy food cheaper than local supermarkets and clothing that the Walmart a half-hour drive away doesn’t carry. [More]
Verizon and other operators of copper wire landline service have been accused in recent years of letting these old networks fall into disrepair in order to shift consumers over to wireless and fiberoptic services. It certainly doesn’t help Verizon’s case when the company spends months failing to investigate problems with rural phone service that its own data showed existed. [More]
Ten years ago, a man in central New York decided to build a house in a rural area. This seemed like a pretty good idea at the time, but broadband Internet wasn’t as crucial to modern life then as it is now. There are Time Warner Cable lines in the small town of Pompey, southeast of Syracuse, a third of a mile from his house, but Time Warner says that it would cost more than $20,000 to connect him. [More]
The number of payphones in West Virginia has decreased 44% since industry deregulation in 1998, according to reports by the state’s Public Service Commission.