Son’s Study Abroad Trip Serves as Reminder of Our Need to Invest in Princeton
My son was home from college this summer and, like all Princeton residents do, struggled to deal with the lack of broadband internet, especially since so many parts of a 20-year-old’s life in 2013 revolves around the “inter webs”. But every step of the way, our lack of broadband internet prevented him from doing what all of our Wachusett area neighbors take for granted:
- Skype with out of state friends? Nope, don’t even try.
- Watch Netflix Instant? Nope, too painful.
- Conduct research? Nope, he saved that work until he could go to Panera Bread in Worcester.
He left last Monday for a semester study abroad in Klaipeda, Lithuania. If you are having trouble placing Lithuania on a map, it’s a tiny country on the edge of the Baltic Sea that used to be part of the former Soviet Union. Because Skype was out of the question for me, I Facebook-chatted with him last night and, among other things, asked about the connection speeds over there. He responded to that question by sending the following screen shot:
For context, the average connection speed in Princeton for DSL and Ayacht subscribers is .5 – 1.5 Mbps compared to my son’s 76.94 Mbps speeds in Klaipeda. In other words, broadband speeds in Lithuania are roughly 77 times faster than Princeton.
If tiny former Soviet bloc states have entered the 21st century and invested in their communications infrastructure, don’t you think it is high time for our fiercely proud New England town to do the same?