iPhone users consume a lot of data. Sadly, that is a problem for AT&T. This reminds me of articles I have read in the past few years warning of “The Coming Exaflood.” The thesis of that article and that line of thinking is that video and other bandwidth-intensive applications are going to outstrip the Internet’s wired and wireless capacity to move data. I think Google’s proposed approach is right: Bring on the fiber. Fiber addresses wired bandwidth needs, but for wireless needs 4G and WiMax solutions are needed.

What about most rural areas in our nation, however, which still don’t have 3G wireless connectivity? For AT&T and other providers that answer seems clear: ROI. Money is not there to provide a good return on investment, so absent grant or stimulus-funded initiatives most rural areas are still on the slow side of the digital divide and will remain so.

We need leaders at the state and federal levels who can address these issues and not simply act as the mouthpieces of the telcos.

I am glad at least for now, I can apparently keep my existing unlimited iPhone data plan. It’s a bad sign someone at AT&T has decided 2 gigabytes of wireless data is all any “normal user” will need.

Read more from the NYT.

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