The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – While the world is going wireless with smarter devices and Internet use continues to explode, what about the “pipes” that make our global access faster and better? Are they up to the task of meeting growing demand? How will they make access faster and more reliable in the years ahead?

Frankly, people who want to learn more about the fiber, cable, upgraded copper and wireless networks that are the essential plumbing won’t find much about these unseen delivery methods outside of so-called trade press and web sites.

The Broadband Report, a new addition to WRAL Tech Wire, will address that void.

Our first report - North Carolina braces for big data tidal wave – appears today.

We’ll be covering issues and opportunities in this crucial technology sector in much greater detail than in the past, although from its very beginning infrastructure has always been a key component of our coverage.

The purpose is to better inform our readership about trends, opportunities, technologies and challenges in the areas of high-speed Internet access.

Through this content we can help broaden the ecosystem of online education, entertainment, healthcare and business down to the household level.

“What’s in broadband for me as a citizen?”

“Why should I care?”

“How can I get broadband?”

These questions will be answered.

Topics will include traditional landline as well as wireless and emerging technologies.

Equipment, regulatory issues, education, video, mobile, telecommunications and commerce related to broadband will be covered.

Companies, schools, institutions, government agencies and others utilizing will be featured as “case studies” showing how others can benefit from their experience. “Lessons Learned” would be a key part of such stories.

“Care abouts” will be addressed – why should people and businesses be concerned, and how can they benefit or contribute to making improvements?

These reports will range from high-level companies to local startups, from high-tech to healthcare, e-commerce to entertainment.

Additionally, thought leaders from the private sector, academia and government policy makers will be afforded the opportunity to blog about the state of broadband.

When appropriate, technical issues such as cloud computing, latency, and gaming development will be addressed.

Photographs, graphics and video will be incorporated into these reports as available and when appropriate.

The focal point of this section will be a feature story or stories that appears each Monday.

However, breaking news and opinion pieces will be published as needed.

We welcome your story ideas and thoughts.

Contact me via email (