Archive for March, 2010

America’s broadband problem: we need a commons

Yochai Benkler has an interesting op-ed piece in the NY Times on the recent FCC plan to widen U.S. Internet access.  As Benkler describes it

The Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan, announced last week, is aimed at providing nearly universal, affordable broadband service by 2020. And while it takes many admirable steps — including very important efforts toward opening space in the broadcast spectrum — it does not address the source of the access problem: without a major policy shift to increase competition, broadband service in the United States will continue to lag far behind the rest of the developed world.

According to Benkler,  for $33 per month a month a French consumer can get:  high speed Internet service (twice as fast as ours) plus digital high-definition television plus  unlimited long distance and international calling plus wireless Internet connectivity for your laptop or smartphone.   Not bad.  What does $33 get you here in the U.S.?   It doesn’t even cover the mediocre Internet service we get.

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