Let’s face it: Most of us in the U.S. live in world revolving around two broadband poles. We have access to cheap, plentiful bandwidth at home, and we have access to cheap, plentiful bandwidth at work. But everywhere in between broadband access is often limited, expensive or not available at all.
Yet at any given locale in any populated area of the U.S. there can be dozens if not hundreds of potential connections around us, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cellular networks. We don’t tap into all of those potential connections because we don’t “own” them. They belong to the homes or businesses running those Wi-Fi routers, to the device owner hiding his Bluetooth link, or to the mobile carriers operating networks you don’t subscribe to. We live in a world with enormous amounts of potential bandwidth, but also one with strictly enforced constraints on who can use it.
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