It is interesting to think of broadband which people like me have already likened to a bridge across infrastructural gaps as being treated as a substitute to transportation, not for purposes of competition law jurisdiction as my title may suggest, but at least as a competitor for public funding.
Thus, a post titled “Building railways not broadband is a ‘strategic mistake” quotes a Microsoft personnel as saying that “The UK government is making “a strategic mistake” investing billions of pounds into railways rather than broadband.” The said executive has criticized “the government for not investing into the technologies needed to make mobile working a reality for more, instead sticking with the traditional investments for the commute to work. “The one negative fact about the future is the current and previous governments think we need to build railways instead of broadband infrastructure and networks,”
I am not sure that the two investments are mutually exclusive for a country like U.K, but certainly one can envisage that the future would be one where mobile work or tele-commuting predominates. One can quite easily stretch one’s imagination to a scenario where the broadband becomes more important than the railways when it comes to interacting with co-workers.
In developing countries broadband already compensates for lack of roads, hospitals, schools, work opportunities, social services etc. My articles on the subject can be seen here.