Thursday, October 22, 2009

Only You Can Prevent a Lousy National Broadband Plan

Check out this picture of telecom lobbying from Jan through June 2009 courtesy of DSL Reports.

The battle of the corporate lobbyists is already taking place in our nation’s capitol and, most assuredly, is twisting the discussion on a national broadband plan to fit individual corporate goals. If we have learned ANYTHING from the recent recession and taxpayer bailout, we should recognize that businesses do what is right for them (and isn’t it nice if it actually aligns with what is good for the public.) (In 2003, I worked on the Gigabit or Bust report that noted this very thing was a major bottleneck for a real broadband agenda in this country.)

The national broadband strategy MUST be aligned with the public interest. The U.S. cannot afford to continue to be a goofy, denial-based, lobby-controlled, broadband-famine county. We are a nation of innovators and small businesses. We absolutely must balance lobbyists and their employer's self-interests and focus on a big broadband as an innovation platform for the public. As Paul Budde says, “I think it all depends on good leadership and understanding the social and economic benefits, not just the shareholders value.”

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