Research, analysis, and thought leadership for enterprise communications.

Keeping Perspective

by in Telecom

I always love when perspective can be added to something through numbers. I have one of those for you.

The entire telecommunications and Internet infrastructure in this country, could be built for about $500 Billion.

The interstate highway system–all 47,856 miles of it–could be built for under $500 Billion (adjusted into today’s dollars.) Source:

Let me put this into perspective: either of these is less than the annual budget of the US Military. With one year’s direct military expenses we could have a completely new highway system or a completely new telecommunications infrastructure.

The special appropriations (beyond the military budget) for Iraq and Afghanistan have been approximately equal to the entire value of our highway infrastructure and communications infrastructure combined.

I’m making no judgment on whether it was worth spending this money on the military. But we should keep in mind how much we are spending by comparing it to other things that are important.

And, since we made the $800 Billion of special appropriations beyond the budget without any consideration for balancing the budget or to how we would repay this there is another interesting question:

Should America make a special appropriation of the same amount ($800 Billion) to build our infrastructure so that we could have the best roads, best mass transit, and best telecommunications system in the world?


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Colin Berkshire is a highly technical HR executive in the Pulp and Paper Industry. Colin has an engineering and voice background, and is currently on assignment in Asia. NOTE: Colin does not respond to comments, and does not Tweet.