The pic at left was taken on the vast, dry plains of West Texas outside Marathon headed east. We were on US Hwy 90 (yes, the same Hwy 90 we call Evangeline Thruway) and I was struck by the fact that both sides of the road were lined with these odd markers for 100's of miles. The white stick with the orange cap is the standard marker for a buried fiber optic line. The label on this particular one marked it as having once belonged to MCI and some of those fibers surely make it to regeneration station near Lafayette's Amtrack station.
It was a weird sensation to see that connection to Lafayette in a surrounding that was so unlike South Louisiana.
It was also disconcerting to know that the region through which it ran saw no benefit from the fiber--patches of telephone service wires to the separate remote communities were clearly running out from microwave dishes near each town. Modern telecommunications is almost invisible for long stretches of rural America and this is one of our most isolated regions.