What can the telecommunications industry do to bridge the ongoing digital divide? In The Divide Podcast, Bluebird Network’s Chief Revenue Officer, Bruce Garrison and Dartpoint’s Chief Executive Officer, Scott Willis shared their thoughts with the Podcast program called ‘The Divide’ about how to solve the problem, each exploring ways the industry can help bring reliable connectivity to markets that need them most. 

For starters, Bruce explained why he thinks the digital divide exists today. “One of the biggest underlying reasons is just infrastructure, there is no ubiquitous network across any part of the world. So there are gaps in coverage which do not give other businesses or consumers access to the latest and greatest technologies.” 

Scott Willis also shared that “the US market in general [has] to figure out a way to solve this, it’s not a new issue; it’s been a challenge  for a long period of time,” He then shares two ideas on how the industry can address the digital divide: First, the industry needs to pivot its architecture and implement edge technologies in order to meet the ever-growing demands. Second, Scott mentions how it’s going to take both private and public sectors coming together to bridge the divide. 

An increase in funding will also have a great impact on addressing the digital divide. Bruce says, “Infrastructure is a capital intensive business, so a state organization needs help with funding.” As technology progresses, so does the time for adoption and more infrastructure, which drives the need for more funding in the industry. Partnerships can help create an avenue to funding in order to meet demands, while also providing and strengthening connectivity in underserved communities.  

According to Bruce, Bluebird’s partnerships have provided opportunities to densify their fiber footprint and even tap into new markets, allowing Bluebird to offer and strengthen connectivity to more businesses, governments, and school systems in the Midwest. 

“Fiber is the central nervous system of our digital ecosystem,” says Scott. He goes on to mention that just as fiber matters in places like Dallas, TX and Northern Virginia, it’s also imperative that more remote communities have access to the internet. In states like Iowa, Dartpoints is providing connectivity to a range of industries from agriculture to gaming.  

Both Bluebird and DartPoints understand the effort it takes from an “ecosystem of companies” to bridge the digital divide and bring meaningful connectivity to underserved communities. 



Bluebird Network is a communications infrastructure provider and data center operator. Since 1999, Bluebird Network, headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, has provided internet and transport services, via its fiber infrastructure, to Carriers and Enterprises in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa and the surrounding states. Bluebird owns two data centers: an underground facility in Springfield, MO and a facility in the Quad Cities. Bluebird operates over 9,800 fiber route miles of high-speed broadband and fiber-optic connections with over 60,000 on-net and near-net buildings and 151 Points of Presence (PoP) sites spanning the Midwest, including the major cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield (MO and IL), Tulsa, Peoria, Rockford, Bloomington, Normal and the Quad Cities. To learn more, please visit Bluebirdnetwork.com and follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter 


Founded in 2012, DartPoints is a leading developer, owner and operator of carrier-neutral edge colocation and data center interconnection points. By aligning with adjacent, rural, developing and underserved markets, DartPoints catalyzes and cultivates digital ecosystems to assure these markets are optimized, centralized and comprehensively interconnected. This enables a more reliable and transformative digital experience, empowering these markets to harness major market capabilities and deliver real-time content and applications with enhanced speed, performance and cost efficiency. To learn more, visit https://www.dartpoints.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.