While we have work to do in rural and poor America, we are not at a point where we can afford to turn our backs on emerging technologies in favor of a zombie broadband plan born in the last millennium.
As the pandemic starts to fade, we won’t return to the old normal but we’ll reach a new normal with more broadband of all kinds, especially mobile, with less TV watching. Against that background, the efforts of Congress to shore up the old normal are going to fail.
It behooves us to be realistic, to assess facts honestly, and to avoid rushing to solve non-existent problems while real needs remain unaddressed. The Internet works fine for those of us who have it, but it doesn’t work at all for the rest of us.
US broadband is nothing to sneer at, as all of us who have taken the time to study it in depth are happy to say. Alternative fact reports targeted at naive journalists have the potential to do serious harm, so I would encourage anyone who finds OTI’s United States of Broadband remotely credible to dig a little deeper before firing off clickbait headlines. You might be a victim of fake news.
An awful lot of things that are sold to us as improvements to Internet security simply deliver more information into the hands of a small group of companies. Whether that’s a good thing is for you to decide, but for my own part I like to be selective about what I share with which players.
A recent study by the Berkman Klein Center shows that publicly-funded broadband networks are cheaper – but slower – than those built with private capital. On average, consumers who buy broadband service from a government provider pay $10 per month less than those who patronize commercial providers, but their download speeds are close to 7 Mbps slower.
Should three unelected bureaucrats be able to reverse three other unelected bureaucrats on vital social, political, and economic questions? This is the haunting question for Internet policy in the United…