First Post

As I look upon the wasteland that our communications infrastructure has become, I wonder what became of the Information Superhighway. No, not the clichéed buzzword but the network that is analogous to the highway system—moving information as opposed to people and freight. The telcos and the cable companies have all built proprietary “road systems” that, were the auto or oil industry to do, would be denounced stridently. Imagine trying to go somewhere and being told that this is a Ford-only road…or an Exxon only road…that you could use no other brand of vehicle or fuel. The reality is that that is precisely what we have with our communications and media networks.

I propose that, like the road system, the network pathways be owned by the people. The beauty of the road system is that by providing access, communities are created, businesses pop up at crossroads and the system works for the good of society, not individual corporations. In the case of the communications infrastructure, the government would put down the fibre, copper and would pay to maintain it; they would put up the cell towers as well. Then they would allow companies to access these networks for a fee. There would be proper competition, with companies competing for customers on the merits of their service and product. Businesses would benefit because they would have access to communities that would normally be too expensive to service and communities would benefit from quick access to both government and corporate services. Government would benefit by offloading inefficient services from paper to electronic delivery. Imagine a cable company winning because they provided better entertainment…imagine being able to subscribe to more than one (I see rainbows, butterflies and unicorns—a perfect world!)

Posted in A.F.T.W., Practicality | No Comments »

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