The Internet Really Is a Series of Tubes

by Mike Wendy on July 31, 2012

I guess Senator Ted Stevens was right.  The Internet really is a series of tubes, as this photo (above) of PVC conduit, which will house new residential fiber in Tampa, reveals.

Pictured below is where a lot of landline Internet risk and innovation begins – an easement trench cut.  This is where the new PVC and fiber will ultimately go, created block by block, one shovel-load at a time, so that consumers can get the high-speed broadband they demand.

Parenthetically, the crew working here – I counted at least five workers on this block-long project – also nicely illustrates two important aspects of the so-called jobs “multiplier effect” caused by the creation of new Internet infrastructure: direct jobs – e.g., the workers needed by the company itself to dig the trench and place the fiber; and indirect jobs – e.g., the PVC and fiber / etc. filling that trench, which is supplied by other companies, and presumably made by other workers.

You may remember that with last year’s proposed AT&T / T-Mobile merger, many on the anti-property Left essentially said that, as it pertained to incumbent telecom firms, the jobs multiplier effect did not apply.  Ever.  In fact, one reporter, perhaps parroting this meme, went so far as to exclaim, “[W]ho had ever heard of a big company merger creating rather than destroying jobs?”

Well, something similar to these Tampa trench cuts (such as the creation and update of new cell towers / sites and other related infrastructure) would have happened all across America had the merger gone through, with the new company expanding its infrastructure – in the cities, suburbs and rural hinterlands – to bring new wireless services to needy consumers.  Consequently, thousands of direct, indirect and induced jobs would have ensued.  This is not to mention new jobs created through increased productivity from the new wireless connectivity, as well as other job-stimulating effects brought about by the new infrastructure.

Funny how a “series of tubes” could be so innovative and job-stimulating.  Sad that so many have chosen not to see just how.

gator Dad August 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Great way to illustrate the Internet and job ripple.

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