So, I’m thinking it’s got to be a good sign when one of the people Obama has picked to head up the FCC review team has been quoted as saying this:
“We’re not doing at all well for reasons that mostly have to do with the fact that we failed to have a US industrial policy pushing forward high-speed internet access penetration, and there’s been completely inadequate competition in this country for high speed internet access,” she said.
And in a final introductory statement during her talk (that’s likely to send shivers down the spines of telecom company executives) she said that she believes internet access is a “utility.”
“This is like water, electricity, sewage systems: Something that each and all Americans need to succeed in the modern era. We’re doing very badly, and we’re in a dismal state,” she said at the time.
What a concept.
Terry Elliott says
I think that we are entering an era of decentralization and that better-than-marginal information access is key toward realizing this. This ‘de-massification’ (if Nicholas Taleb is right ) will need to rely on much better information access.
It’s good to see that internet access is getting some visibility. Although I hope that network coverage isn’t the only goal, here. Accessibility and affordability is a big concern for urban areas, where the network exists but families can’t spend $40-50 for broadband access.
I’ve only recently come to realize that while many of my students do have computers at home, many of them do not have internet access. I always assumed they went hand in hand (as they did in my house growing up).
It’s interesting to note that the price of a new computer ($500 or less for a cheap desktop) is now on par or less than just one year of broadband internet access (around $500 from Cablevision in my town).
It certainly is a ray of hope especially for those in rural areas without high speed access. There can be no true equity in our education system until this happens.
Seeing internet access as a “utility” is a profound and important paradigm shift. Thanks for posting.
If they concentrate on revving up broadband penetration and re-securing net neutrality, that would be a great thing. However, ISP’s are already too monopolistic/oligopolistic in their practices; making them a “utility” does not mean the consumer will be protected, it may lock in bad practices as well. Devil is in the details.
I’m more concerned regarding their views on the application of a hypothetically revived “Fairness Doctrie” ( which I would oppose) as some legal scholars contend that a new Fairness Doctrine would have to be extended to the blogosphere, not merely broadcast media.
Sean Nash says
Seriously- there must be a pile of really connected folks offering guidance to our new president-to-be. Tweeting the campaign? “Fireside chats” to come via YouTube? Hey folks… somebody GETS IT here.
“The internet is a utility.” I couldn’t agree more. I remember thinking it was when I first scored a PowerBook. At that point in my life in education, the web finally felt like my right hand, and my computer felt closer to my toaster.
It is about time. Gone are the years of science being thrown out the window as “unconnected, hifalutin’ ideas.” Gone are the years of “clearing brush for no good reason but to wear a goofy hat on television.”
I, for one, welcome our shiny new, CONNECTED, democrat overlords!
Kay McNulty says
Thanks Mr. President Elect for immediately surrounding yourself by smartpeople. There is hope indeed!
John Pederson says
The person I know “most in the know” about this sort of stuff also confirms that this is a huge step forward for the Internet.
Dave Winter says
Micheal Wesch ” we are the web ”
We are looking do more and more together for each other from a distance. Waiting makes this unatural.
To live our lives naturally takes a big connection.
I just hope everyone is included.