What defines the Third World is a distinct lack of what we consider basic services such as water, sewer, electricity, and telecom. This does not mean a lack of high technology, you can't hardly go anywhere in the third world without running into someone who knows someone with a cell or satphone.
But America is heading for the third world.
First because energy demand will only increase and not decrease no matter how "energy star efficient" appliances people buy.
Second because energy production is being set up for unreliable "green" solutions. Unreliable production equals unreliable service, spikes in prices, and areas with and without access to energy.
Once energy goes tits up, telecom has to adapt to a more "robust" form of communication.
Energy is the key to keeping things running. Expertise is key to keeping things running. It could come quick in the form of a high altitude EMP, it could come slow on the stranglehold plan the current administration seems to be following. And I haven't even talked about the looming currency crisis that will make people think fondly of the "Great Depression" and "Stagflation" at the same time.
One good gust of wind and the whole house of cards can come down.