Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Wanderers 2010.4.7

We learned about broadband under "lawyer-capitalism" (as our mentor and Medal of Freedom winner calls it). President Eisenhower called it the "military-industrial complex" and thought it might destroy the USA we had known.

The USA has some of the slowest Internet at the highest rates anywhere, thanks to the FCC, Supreme Court etc.

Other less backward parts of the world are creating their next generation of telecommunications with fiber instead of copper, leaving the USA in the dust.

The private companies controlling the cable franchises have not kept pace, have been turning the Internet into a one-way service for delivering movies to idiot boxes while clamping down hard on competing users and service providers.

Google has been planning a few fiber-based test beds featuring a two-way gigabit service that would be open platform, shared with local companies kicked off the cable delivery system by the FCC.

The FCC lost its jurisdictional mandate yesterday in some dimension. However, I had another meeting to attend so was unable to chronicle more details.

Our speaker works for the City of Portland, which has been resisting this dying form of capitalism, hoping to open up the infrastructure to more players. The concentration of media in a fewer hands goes against the grain of the Oregonian psyche.