My family and I had a meal in Pigeon Forge, in an old mill building that's quite old, in an area settled in 1830. Walking in with a MacBook Pro certainly seemed odd to some, but no one noticed my phone offering tethering rights. And so it was that I posted a blog in a building that dated back 160 or more years ago.
And that's the way it's going with Internet. As a Midwesterner raised in older houses, I saw first-hand the merging of new technology into old buildings. My friends and I often found ruined floor joists that were carved up to add drainpipes into homes never built for indoor plumbing. This Internet connectivity, pursued with wireless means, well, that enables technical mergings without destroying the old structures.
And that's the way it's going. Old businesses give a URL with outdoor advertising. People stare and swear at their Point of Sale systems with the same promises of hurt and pain reserved normally for laptops. And everyone wants a smartphone and wants their restaurants to offer free Internet.
When Internet comes to all parts of the world, it won't be done with copper wires, phone circuits and screeching modems. No, it's likely to be some phones, tablets, and laptops connecting to high-altitude cell gateways suspended from balloons. You won't have a Cades Cove's beauty marred with towers and lights and all. No, much like my restaurant, connectivity will just be there, a pervasive reminder of Internet integration.
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