Susan Crawford, special assistant to the president for science, technology and innovation policy and a member of the National Economic Council, is reported to be favorably inclined towards a U.S. network much like Australia's recently announced $33B broadband plan.
Of course, the U.S. is some 15 times bigger than Australia, and that'd make the price tag closer to $500B by straight multiplication. But the U.S. would get a fiber network done right. It'd be as fast as technology would allow; note that affordable symmetrical residential Gbit service is already available in Sweden and Japan. It'd be upgradable approximately forever. It'd be un-bundlable, so anybody could offer services on it and no entity would need to maintain a monopoly. And, says Crawford, "… [such] a wholesale network can deliver massive social and economic benefits."
What's not to like? Incumbent mouthpiece Scott Cleland says that it'd unfair if the government competes against his clients. Former FCC Chair Reed Hundt doesn't think it's a "practical solution."
I think Susan Crawford has the right idea. Technology exists now to deliver hundreds of times more than we're getting. The only thing the U.S. lacks is the will to do it. The U.S. used to think big. That's what made it a great country. It could do it again. The only losers would be the very same companies that are keeping us in the past in the name of the late, great free market.
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Minds + Machines