RealNews

Fast and Furious: The Race to Wire America

JAYDENE WASHBURN’S rambler-style home here, 20 minutes south of Salt Lake City, seems the epitome of suburban tranquillity. The neatly cropped lawn is free of weeds. The skis and bicycles are hung tidily in the garage. In the house, the walls are adorned with family photographs and religious images. But look up at Mrs. Washburn’s roof and you notice a sign of one of the first great business battles of the 21st century: an antenna that reaches four feet above the shingles. She paid $400 to a start-up called Utah Broadband to install the antenna because she was tired of waiting for the industry’s major competitors, the telephone and cable companies, to provide high-speed Internet access, known as broadband. Mrs. Washburn, who teachers fourth grade, wanted to make the switch because her old dial-up access was excruciatingly slow when she tried to gain access to educational Web sites, when her sons played online games or when her husband sold refurbished golf clubs on eBay. Full Story

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