Monday, May 23, 2005


Whatever happened to the Bush broadband policy?

Public CIO Magazine asks
What happened to the urgent call for" broadband" -- the new information infrastructure that is vital to success and survival in the global knowledge economy -- President Bush promised he would push in his second term?
Answer: It went to the same place that, "Mission Accomplished," went, to a magic land where thankful people throw rose pedals to celebrate imagined events. It went to the same place Kevin Martin imagined when he said that the U.S. had "the best communications system in the world."

The article continues
Not surprisingly cities the world over are struggling to reinvent themselves for the new, global, knowledge economy and thereby attract the most sought-after creative and innovative work force.

Those most successful at positioning themselves as "cities of the future" will decidedly have 24/7, broadband telecommunications in place; wired and wireless infrastructures connecting every home. school and office -- and through the world wide Web -- to every organization or institution worldwide.
And it concludes
Clearly our national communications policies are bankrupt. Since 1996 when the last major Act was written, we have seen cable television, telephone and Internet prices rise; media firms consolidate, and journalism and news outlets convert to the worst form of tabloidism. All at a time in our history when our very freedoms and culture are being threatened in the wake of globalism. Our cities -- center of commerce, crucibles of civilization and in the new economy the most likely incubators of creativity -- hamstrung by a backward-looking federal communications policy.

If ever there was a time for federal action, it is now. The Bush Administration must act swiftly and decisively. The Congress and the new chairman of the FCC must likewise follow suit to ensure that America has the infrastructure of the 21st Century, and that our cities once again are allowed to retool so that all our citizens get connected.
Incoming FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is starting with the wrong priorities! Indecency and 911 are deck chairs. Broadband is the ocean going vessel. Icebergs ahead; straight is the wrong course. Even if the Titanic is the best vessel in the world.

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