ADOTAS – With all the fuss over the public option and socialized health care, people who are concerned that the government is taking over everything have totally missed the move toward socialism in broadband!
In the Recovery Act passed last year, Congress and the president ordered the Federal Communications Commission to develop a strategy to bring high-speed Internet to 90% of all Americans by 2020. Considering that technology is progressing at a clip, that doesn’t sound like the highest of bars — the FCC estimates currently that 65% have access to broadband.
Embedded in an announcement that the FCC’s National Broadband Plan will be released next week, the federal agency suggested a way to keep broadband affordable was to “consider use of spectrum for a free or a very low cost wireless broadband service.”
I know I’m not alone in shouting, “Keep your filthy government paws off my broadband!”
At the Digital Inclusion Summit — held at the Newseum in Washington, DC, and hosted by the FCC and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation — FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski detailed elements of the plan in a speech was focused on broadband use by the disabled. A recent FCC study showed that 39% of the third of Americans without broadband access had a disability.
“In order to ensure long term American competitiveness and prosperity, we must not leave one-third of the nation behind,” Genachowski said. “The National Broadband Plan provides a vision for federal, state and local leadership and partnerships with the private and non-profit communities that will bridge the digital divide and transform America into a nation where broadband expands opportunities for all.”
The plan will recommend the formation of an interagency working group to coordinate policies that promote broadband adoption by people with disabilities, as well as an ongoing “Accessibility and Innovation Forum” established so industry reps, consumers, third-party application developers and others can hold a dialog on best practices and new innovations.
The FCC is mulling over many options to increase broadband access across the country, including providing subsidies to companies partnering with government agencies. Comrade Genachowski also has made it a priority to install 1 gigabyte connections at public institutions such as libraries and schools by 2020. Someone check Lenin’s tomb to see if he’s smiling!
“Broadband is our generation’s major infrastructure challenge,” said Genachowski, who bears a slight resemblance to Karl Marx (if you squint). “It’s like roads, canals, railroads and telephones for previous generations. It’s like electricity in its transformative power.”
The plan is set to be released right as Comcast and AT&T are increasing charges on broadband access for some customers. Also, creating a government broadband service is only a suggestion (it’s a push to call it a recommendation); the actual implementation would have to jump many hurdles.
But when will Americans learn that broadband is a privilege, not a right? Is there an amendment in the Constitution that promises freedom of Internet? I don’t think so.
Besides, corporations are already increasingly supplying free wifi for patrons. Adam Smith wins again — yay, capitalism!