--- Originally published on the Adaptive Path Blog ---
I spent this past Holiday week in northern Colorado visiting family and friends. We had great fun and lots of wonderful food, as I hope many did. While I was there, talk turned to the internet and the web, as it is aft to do with my boyfriend and me, and I was struck at the number of people who were on dial-up or had no internet access at all.
Dial-up? I haven't used a modem since, well; I can't remember how long it's been. All the designing and consulting that I do as part of my job assumes a broadband connection. I can't remember the last time a client was concerned about how a site would perform over a 56k modem. With all the Flash, big images and Ajax on sites these days, how slow and painful it must it be to surf the web.
What kind of effect is this going to have in the long term? How many folks will go without because the cost of a satellite connection is prohibitory expensive? How do usage habits change when the only access comes via work or requires a drive to a local library? What kind of cultural divide is growing between those that live and breath the web without even thinking about it and those who can't?
These used to be issues that were often discussed, but I hardly hear about them anymore. I always assumed it was because they were solved, not that they're just being ignored.