March 29, 2006

The Real US Broadband Problem

Maynard Handley writes:
The issue of importance is not the cost of broadband; that is higher than it should be in the US, but it will fall. Neither is the issue of importance the speed. Higher speed is nice, but what's available in the US is adequate for now.

What is important is the extent to which home users on the internet are empowered: Do their terms of service allow them to run their own web pages off their home machines? Can they run personal blogs and wikis for their friends to visit? Can they log into their home machines from somewhere else? And so on.

The common place TOS in the US prevent such activities; the powers that be in the US are interested in making the US an alternative form of television, and very much a one-way medium. Not only is this profoundly immoral, it is profoundly undemocratic, and profoundly stupid (since it is yet one more attempt to freeze an existing business model rather than looking at the big picture of how to take advantage of new, as yet undreamed of possibilities); but of course, this sort of trifecta is about what one expects from US business these days.

The point of my writing is to express my disappointment that these issues were not raised; either in the context of the US or in the context of France. I would like to hope that French companies are being better citizens about this than their US counterparts, but I have no reason to believe so. I would, however, hope that a newspaper article would include at least some nod to issues more important than saving a few bucks on one's cable bill.

Yours sincerely,

Maynard Handley
Handley is correct. is a very small attempt to address some of these issues. Posted by James Zellmer at March 29, 2006 11:05 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Broadband | Politics