Lessons about electrickery

Watched a great programme last night about the building of the National Grid. It cost £26.7M in 1926 to build it and it was finished in 1933 on time and on budget. In today’s money, that is £1,141,028,108.10. (I think that’s a gazillion at least)

Can you imagine where the UK would be if we hadn’t built it?
Can you imagine if someone had said, “What on earth will anyone want all that electricity for? Surely one lightbulb is enough for anyone?”
Do you think those that proposed the National Grid could have imagined this scenario in homes across the land?  overloadedsockets.jpg
What if they had assumed that only businesses would need electricity and had not connected homes? 
What if each house only had a very “thin pipe” or impoverished connection, meaning you could only plug in one or limited numbers of devices at a time? (As some other countries, including Spain, do).
How would that have affected the development of domestic appliances, and therefore the innovation and growth of companies such as Thorn Emi, Morphy Richards, Plessey etc? There would be no Dixons, Comet, etc etc.
In 1929, John Logie Baird had his first television sets manufactured. Would TV have become what it is today if electricity had not been ubiquitous, affordable and accessible? 
Where would we be if individuals hadn’t built the first networks, often in rural areas, at their own expense or with PWLB money? The Government wouldn’t have understood the need for a national network if it hadn’t been for the innovators. 
In 1947, it was nationalised. Which is right. It needed to belong to the people. In 1990, it was privatised. Which is wrong. As now it is all about private companies’ profits. 
A similar story could be told about the GPO, how it started, what it engendered, and we all know what happened once it was privatised.
I suspect there are some lessons to learn in the above about how we should be tackling the broadband infrastructure problem………

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Rory's reivers will be watching. We must make sure we keep working until everyone gets the message. Good post.
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Interesting, but I think you are missing some important details. The National Grid was built to connect town grids that were already built by the innovators. It also isnt mentioned the huge arguments, issues, and cost involved with hooking up the rural areas. Its not like electricity is a universal service, there are still some parts of the UK not on the electric grid, gas, water supply or sewage... Does this mean that homes are without electricity, heating, water and sewage management... No. Do they get the same level of service as those people in towns and cities... No, not quite. Should Internet connectivity be universal - Yes. Does this mean that Internet service will be provided universally across the uk using the same methods/technology at the same service level in all areas. No. ADSL will unlikely provide decent speeds over the cable lengths involved - even if it was implements. However 3G, 4G, Microwave links, & Mesh Networks are all potential solutions in addition to using a low-speed link for requests and a satellite link for downloads - although this has an issue with latency. Personally in the rural regions I see 4G technologies being the way forward; both LTE and WiMAX provide the coverage with minimal base stations to areas such as the highlands. Jeez; if we can use our 3G phones to update Facebook on the summit of Everest we should be able to connect up the highlands with a reasonable service which is economic for both the users and the businesses providing the service!
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