Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eldo Telecom: Migration of boomers to Penturbia will boost small town broadband

Eldo Telecom: Migration of boomers to Penturbia will boost small town broadband: "The Daily Yonder has an interesting item in today's issue that lends credence to Jack Lessinger's prediction two decades ago that America is poised to enter its fifth major settlement pattern. This fifth era -- dubbed Penturbia by Lessinger in the title of his 1990 book on the topic -- will be marked by a shift away from metro areas and suburbs to less populated smaller towns outside of metro areas.

The Daily Yonder story cites a U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service forecast that the baby boomers -- a hugely populous demographic group -- will shun the burbs in favor of Lessinger's Penturbs. A big draw will be natural amenities, which a map accompanying the article shows are primarily in the western U.S.

This is also where the nation's telecommunications infrastructure is least likely to offer broadband and other advanced telecommunications services, services the boomers are likely to expect and demand but telcos and cable companies have found difficult to profitably provide there. An influx of boomers could change those economics. And where the providers won't upgrade or expand their infrastructures, look for the boomers to form telecom cooperatives and do the job themselves."

So says blogger Fred Pilot.


Fred Pilot said...

This is also likely to have implications for Privatopia, which has generally been a suburban phenom. The boomers' idea of small town life isn't likely to include a mandatory HOA.

Anonymous said...

This type of migration opens up an opportunity for wireless broadband providers to emerge in small towns. Using just a wireless technology such as WiMAX and a single tower, such a provider could serve an entire county using an open UHF TV channel, no cable or telephone wires needed.

As for this boomer, small town life most definitely does NOT include CIDs or mandatory HOAs. In working a field service job a few years ago servicing computers in rural hospitals, I discovered that these small towns have something intangible, i.e. they are a REAL community, something that is smothered by the legalistic and officious nature of HOA regimes. Next to small towns, the plastic "community" marketed by developers just doesn't measure up!

On top of that, a small town doesn't get in the way when I want to put up a ham radio antenna and doesn't preoccupy itself with where I put my garbage can or what color I paint the front door or mailbox.
To be more to the point, I would be a REAL homeowner, not just a glorified tenant who pretends to actually own his home.

I just hope that this influx of boomers doesn't destroy the very character of the small town that they are looking for. Perhaps many people will discover that the best things in life are not pre packaged and master planned.

Fred Pilot said...

"Perhaps many people will discover that the best things in life are not pre packaged and master planned."


Evan McKenzie said...

Wait--that would mean that McDonald's doesn't make the best hamburger in the world...