The Infrastructure Dilemma

You know, for months now, I’ve heard the political arguments about whether or not providing massive investments in America’s infrastructure would stimulate our economy.. whether the jobs to be gained were in fact “shovel-ready”, whether or not we could afford them, etc.

I’m not at all concerned with the political ramifications, which party benefits most, what effect they will have on the coming elections – and I wish nobody else was, either.


I sit here in Connecticut – in what is, per capita, the richest county in the United States. The HOME of the hedge fund industry, the investment banking industry.. in fact, while the public is busy occupying “Wall Street”, they are occupying the middle management. If they wanted to annoy the big robber barons and senior executives, they’d be occupying the town square in Greenwich, Connecticut.

So why, 10 days after a single freak snowstorm, is a huge portion of this state still without power and telecommunications? Why did it take over a week to restore New York and New Jersey?

The answer, from my point of view, is that we in the AV industry are building our castles on very tenuous shifting sand, because as wonderful as they are, the infrastructure in this country has been milked as far as it can be. We are milking our poor infrastructure cow without feeding it. For the last few days, it has been far, far easier to hold a telepresence event with the interior of India than with the interior of New England.

The snow, heavy though it was, lasted only a single day. Today, our Governor announced that he had no confidence in any of the projections for restoring service completely.

Political ramifications should be put aside, and the economic arguments too. The real case is this – America cannot compete long-term in a global economy until our infrastructure will actually support it.