Not only has the internet become a vital part of our lives, it’s also become an integral part of the economy. Think about how much investment and innovation is driven by companies in Silicon Valley, all of whom rely on the internet in some way, shape, or form. For those companies who reap billions of dollars in revenue every year, having access to high-speed internet is something they don’t really think about because they have the money to pay whatever fees companies like Verizon or Comcast are charging them. They also have the wherewithal to build their own infrastructure, which means they care less about the general state of internet connectivity.
The internet has taken over our lives. Whether that will turn out to be beneficial or harmful (or a combination of both) remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter is that it’s near impossible to conduct any aspect of everyday life without using the internet in some way. We communicate using the internet. We pay our bills over the internet. We consume news and entertainment on the internet. Many of us require the internet to do our jobs. The internet has become woven into the fabric of everyday life, but it has become so commonplace as to seem invisible. We turn on our computers with the assumption that we will be able to access everything we need, without a thought to the infrastructure that allows that to happen. In doing so, we ignore the role that the internet - and access to it - plays in shaping the landscapes around us, particularly with regard to determining the future urban landscape and the cities of tomorrow.