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 Meanwhile the telephone companies have totally withdrawn.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.