FCC disappointment on broadband

March 19, 2010 | By | Reply More

Tim Karr of Free Press reports that the FCC’s newly released broadband plan is severely lacking on some of the most pressing issues:

Judging from the back-slapping and high fives over at the FCC, you’d think that America’s Internet was sailing smoothly into the future. Think again.

With much fanfare on Tuesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski delivered the National Broadband Plan to Congress, saying it will help make Internet access faster and cheaper for everyone in the United States. Getting more people connected to high-speed Internet — from the 65 percent currently online up to 90 percent of households by the year 2020 — is Job One, according to Genachowski.

There are a lot of good things in the plan’s 376 pages, including pledges to reform the Universal Service Fund and to re-allocate spectrum for broadband. But the plan glosses over some of thorniest problems plaguing U.S. Internet users: high prices, slow speeds and a lack of choices among providers.

Internet access in America is held captive by powerful phone and cable interests. And regardless of what the laissez-faire editors at the Wall Street Journal think, doing nothing to protect people from getting ripped off is not an option.

I haven’t yet reviewed the FCC plan, but this report concerns me–Free Press is a highly trusted source regarding media reform. Once again, it appears that the needs of individual citizens are about to take the back seat to corporate interests.

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Category: Communication, Internet, Networking, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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