"On Jan. 25, 1915, the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, inaugurated U.S. transcontinental telephone service."
We've come a long way, baby - but we still have a long way to go!
It was somewhat different from the impact of the trans-continental railway but it's fantastic what's been wrought, and through it all one unintended consequence has been the societal isolation of the deaf community. Bell's "invention" shut them out from much of the human interaction that has gone from a bevy of (mostly) women called "central" asking the ubiquitous "number, please" to electronic marvels that enable one to buy/sell money while walking down the street.
In the U.S. and much of the "developed world" there are probably more people with access to global communication than without it.
As we move towards universal connection, we must attend to inclusion of everyone in this "party line" - one through which it is almost trivial to videophone anyone on the planet.
I've been honored to speak to the people who have as their goal providing a true "Web4All" experience.
Hope to encounter some of you F2F (face-to-face) at W4A 2010 in Raleigh in April.