Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Does Rodney Tom eat kittens?

I'm just asking the tough questions.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Vox | Why the government should provide internet access

You should read the entire article.

Susan: What happens is that we deregulated this entire sector about 10 years ago and the cable guys already had exclusive franchises across across the country. They were able to very inexpensively upgrade those to pretty high-speed internet access connections. Meanwhile the telephone companies have totally withdrawn. They have copper line in the ground and it's expensive for them to build and replace it with fiber. Because of both deregulation and sweeping consolidation in the cable industry we've ended up on this plateau where for about 80% of Americans their only choice for a high-capacity internet access connection is their local cable monopoly.

Ezra: What do you think is the political circumstance under which a project of the size you're talking about could happen? Historically, what have been the forcing mechanisms that have made it possible to make these tremendous investments and changes in the way we deliver fundamental infrastructure?

Susan: This is fundamentally a question of leadership. Without Eisenhower, the federal highway system wouldn't have happened. In the absence of Roosevelt — who really took on the electrification special interests and decided that he was going to fix this situation — it wouldn't have happened. The first step is actually leadership and someone who understands this issue and understands that we're falling further and further behind and is concerned about our future as a nation. This requires long-term thinking.

These infrastructure issues are not partisan by nature. The free market only functions if it has these level playing field inputs that are in place like electricity, communication services and roads. It isn't at all unusual for the state to get involved in these kinds of things. You add together leadership plus great unhappiness on the part of the American people plus some ability to tell the story plainly so people understand and they're not confused and I think in time you'll see quite a movement towards mass fiberization of the United States.


Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

My only concern now is that people will dream too small.

Sent from me to you.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Washington Post: This is what a competitive broadband market looks like

As Seattle wonders its way toward creating a fiber based municipal utility, other places around the country are working on getting similar service.

The Washington Post has a pretty good report today on a competitive broadband market. 
Clearly, this story is not set in Seattle. 

Please note, in their example in Austin, Texas, the commercial provider is making its offer in "seven neighborhoods" and not city-wide.
What we want to avoid is having a digital divide, with some neighborhoods having cheap gigabit speed and others having expensive, spotty, and sub-broadband level service.

From the report:

When Google said it was going to bring its high-speed fiber optic service to Austin, it probably didn't expect to touch off a race to switch on the cheapest, fastest Internet service around. But within a year of announcing the move, AT&T followed suit. And now a third company has beaten them both.

Grande Communications, a 10-year-old provider based a half hour away in San Marcos, Tex., is rolling out full gigabit fiber to seven neighborhoods in west Austin next week. Gigabit service customers will benefit from speeds up to 100 times the national average. The company's service won't require a contract, doesn't impose data caps and vows to obey net neutrality principles. At $65 a month, it'll be more affordable than either Google or AT&T's offerings — and it'll come with fewer strings attached.

Read the rest here:

Washington Post: This is what a competitive broadband market looks like

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