This is personal rant from Brough Turner…
My Frustration with US Broadband
I worked on US broadband policy issues at least part-time from the early 2000s and I’m very frustrated!
In the US, the Internet backbone is extremely competitive. Unfortunately, most of our “middle mile” connectivity and all of our fixed local access connections are, at best, under the control of a duopoly and at worst provided by a nearly unregulated monopoly. The result: by just about any measure, the US is falling behind other leading countries and the situation is getting worse year by year. In 2009, the FCC commissioned the Berkman Center at Harvard to study broadband in other markets. But the resulting report was almost completely ignored (suppressed?) in preparing the US National Broadband Plan that was released in March of 2010. There are many, many parties with vested interests in the status quo or in minor changes to the status quo. It appears the US broadband situation will have to get a lot worse before there will be any significant political action.
I’ve looked at local community approaches to a solution, but they typically depend upon grants that are not renewed and on volunteers who eventually go off to grad school. I couldn’t find a solution that would scale beyond a local community. So I’m seeking a commercial solution. If there is a commercial solution, i.e. one that operates north of breakeven, it can scale. This is netBlazr.
Our goal at netBlazr is no less that an end run around the duopoly (phone company and cable company), around the regulatorium (FCC, etc.) and around Congress – something so significant that it will render existing politics irrelevant. Of course I recognize this won’t be easy, but even if it takes 10+ years, the Internet is so important, for the US and for mankind, that it will be worth the effort.
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