American Internet

Susan Crawford has a great piece in Bloomberg about the sorry state of America’s fiber Internet plans (via The Loop):

> Also in 2011, six Time Warner lobbyists persuaded the North Carolina legislature to pass a “level playing field” bill making it impossible for cities in that state to create their own high-speed Internet access networks. Time Warner, which reported $26 billion in revenue in 2010, donated more than $6.3 million to North Carolina politicians over four years. Eighteen other states have laws that make it extremely difficult or impossible for cities to provide this service to their residents.

There should be little doubt in American minds that Cable companies are greedy and out to service themselves only. I’ve had a lot of run-ins with Comcast over shoddy service, and even worse customer service, but more troubling than an evil corporation is an evil corporation that hamstrings the government. Which is what the cable companies are succeeding at right now, and it’s bullshit.

I think it’s a bit of a stretch to maintain that Internet access is as necessary as water or power, but I don’t think it is a stretch to say that lacking high quality Internet service significantly hampers innovation and a country’s ability to stay relevant in a global economy.

Add fiber to the (long) list of things that America needs to get its act together on.

Here in Tacoma, Washington we have Comcast, and Click. Click is actually run by the city and offers solid service with decent speed. When Click initially rolled out, any building that wanted to add their service had to install Click cable lines and jacks, because Comcast claimed ownership to the others. (Today I am told they have worked out this bullshit and share the lines. ) So I lived in one apartment that had two cable jacks right next to each other in every room. One was Click, one was Comcast, but by the time I moved in they agreed to share the jacks and thus one outlet actually didn’t work.

Originally posted for members on: January 3, 2013
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