February 6, 2005

Madison WiFi/Broadband: Incumbent Telco's Dirty Bomb

Glenn Fleishman on incumbent telco's (SBC & Verizon) latest lobbying/pr efforts to thwart municipally owned broadband systems:
There’s a lot more readily available details about the New Millennium Research Council than I realized: The NMRC is the co-publisher of a report that says municipal broadband is anti-competitive and a waste of taxpayer dollars. eWeek broke the news yesterday that they’re a division of Issue Dynamics, Inc., a group that specializes in creating the appearance of grassroots and independent support for ideas on behalf of their clients. They don’t hide this speciality. The NMRC lists this relationship on their About page; I’m embarrassed that I missed noting this: “The NMRC is an independent project of Issue Dynamics, Inc. (IDI), a consumer and public affairs consulting firm that specializes in developing win-win solutions to complex policy issues.” (IDI lists the US Internet Industry Association as a client; the head of the USIAA wrote part of the NMRC report.) An email correspondent who prefers to remain anonymous but has had dealings with the NMRC and IDI wrote in to note, “If you need an ‘independent’ third party to provide support for your particular issue interest, IDI will find an independent expert who will write a supportive piece for you—the report will then be issued by the NMRC or another front org. There is no direct money passing from the corporation to the person writing the research, and as a technical matter, the funding for NMRC comes directly from IDI. However, people like Verizon pay IDI a pretty stiff retainer, and IDI essentially uses part of that to fund NMRC.”
Glenn also takes a look at fiber to the home projects in Palo Alto, Provo, UT and Lafayette, LA. Keep in mind that the US lags many other countries in true high speed (20mpbs+), economical two way broadband. Posted by James Zellmer at February 6, 2005 8:08 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Broadband | Politics