When we begin with the requirements we quickly find that there are many ways to satisfy them. At this point it’s more prudent to continue to rely on innovation to meet needs rather than declare one and only one technology the permanent victor.
The way forward is to prioritize urgent needs over long term visions. In cases where a new wireline network is the only solution that will get a rural community online, of course that network needs to be all fiber and potentially symmetrical. But such cases are rare.
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.
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.
Net neutrality sucked the oxygen out of Internet policy for a decade, turning every discussion of Internet policy into a debate over the best way to ensure the Internet remained true to this newly discovered foundational principle of the Internet. But these promises were hollow because net neutrality only applied to one part of the Internet, data transmission between consumers, Internet-based businesses, and Internet Service Providers.
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.
Creating a network that can be all things to all people was a monumental undertaking. Making it work for every user in the most reliable, safe, and economical way is even harder. I happily shared the Amicus Brief with Larry last October that was influenced so heavily by his work on Telenet; and I was glad that it pleased him.