(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Recently the Federal Communications Commission announced that it wanted to create a free super Wi-Fi network across the country, virtually eliminating a monthly internet bill. Naturally, the telecommunication giants and the lawmakers in Congress who protect them are opposed. In Europe, internet users enjoy inexpensive, high-speed access to a broadband, phone, and cable TV package for as little as $40 a month. The phone service has an unlimited local calling and a lot of free international calls. In America, people feel like they are paying high costs for poor internet connections. In fact, in states like Texas, comparison websites like internetadvisor.com have even been created to help internet users to find the best and most affordable internet service provider for their needs. When compared to some of the European internet providers, American ones do seem to be charging considerably more. However, thankfully, there are now ways to find the best internet deals in certain areas. For example, by searching the internet for “Broadbandsearch Los Angeles“, people living in that area will be able to see the best internet packages. This could save the public money, whilst also enhancing their internet connection. Companies that are not making use of the fastest speeds available risk being overtaken by the competition who are already leveraging this technology – this is precisely Why your business needs gigabit internet. With it, you can speed on by competitors who are still clinging to internet speeds of yesteryear.
Bloomberg View contributor and visiting professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School, Susan Crawford notes that Americans pay a high price for slow and bad internet connections at a time when “the internet has taken the place of the telephone as the world’s basic, general-purpose, two-way communication medium“. In the article, she describes how a city in Louisiana brought cheaper, high speed internet to its community despite opposition from the telephone and local cable companies:
Terry Huval is a large, friendly man with a lilting Southern accent who plays Cajun fiddle tunes in his spare time. He is also the director of utilities in Lafayette, Louisiana. “Our job is making sure we listen to our citizens,” he says.
In 2004, the Lafayette utilities system decided to provide a fiber-to-the-home service. The new network, called LUS Fiber, would give everyone in Lafayette a very fast Internet connection, enabling them to lower their electricity costs by monitoring and adjusting their usage.
Push-back from the local telephone company, BellSouth Corp., and the local cable company, Cox Communications Inc., was immediate. They tried to get laws passed to stop the network, sued the city, even forced the town to hold a referendum on the project — in which the people voted 62 percent in favor. Finally, in February 2007, after five civil lawsuits, the Louisiana Supreme Court voted, 7-0, to allow the network.
From 2007 to mid-2011, people living in Lafayette saved $5.7 million on telecommunications services.
Prof. Crawford joined Bill Moyers on Moyers & Company to discuss why U.S. internet access is slow, costly and unfair
Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation, and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, joins Bill to discuss how our government has allowed a few powerful media conglomerates to put profit ahead of the public interest – rigging the rules, raising prices, and stifling competition. As a result, Crawford says, all of us are at the mercy of the biggest business monopoly since Standard Oil in the first Gilded Age a hundred years ago.
“The rich are getting gouged, the poor are very often left out, and this means that we’re creating, yet again, two Americas, and deepening inequality through this communications inequality,” Crawford tells Bill.