An army of approximately 2 million temp census takers are fanning out across the nation to collect data, including internet access information. With a growing clueless class that thinks their vote is simply a way to get the rest of us to pay for things, I worry about how that data will be collected and used. The problem with the insisting that someone else will always pay assumes that the rest of the population is even more blissfully empty headed than the clueless.
The current federal administration’s stated goal is to connect 100% of Americans. Considering the fact that around 20% of the population does not want service enough to pay for it, it’s an easy guess where we are going. Is it really such a good idea to task the feds with providing access? We are already lagging behind the rest of the developed world and one more drag on broadband capital will not improve things. Is getting the government to force your neighbor to pay for your access really any different than stealing their Wifi?
While the big carriers continue to scale back fiber deployment, the smaller independent telcos are pushing speeds higher over new fiber networks. How can this be done without the massive economies of scale? It’s never been cheaper, and costs continue to decline. Consider the case of a rural telco with 9000 subscribers delivering 60/30 MBPS connections. That’s something we can only dream about here in AT&T’s Dallas-Fort Worth DSL ghetto.
At the end of 2009, Canby had brought Fiber to the Home-based services to about 1,000 homes-a major milestone given the fact that the ILEC has only 11, 000 access lines and 9,000 customers.
I believe the small telco is the model for a better broadband future. With large protected territories, and laws written to squash competition, the large telcos and cable operators have no incentive to offer more bandwidth at a fair price. It’s not from lack of capital. It’s how the capital is used. The smaller independents tend to stay focused on their home markets instead of investing in acquisitions, wireless and pay TV. They also tend to employ locals and are more responsive to local market needs. I’m not suggesting that we divide cities into a patchwork of small monopolies, but rather open the infrastructure to allow for small providers to enter urban markets as competitors.
Right now, finding open access Wifi may be easier in the UK than it is here on the other side of the pond. From businesses like the famous Wimpy to educational institutions public places often offer a public connection.
Unfortunately, it appears that American politicians aren’t the only ones who have been bought by the telecom and entertainment industries. A new law proposed for the UK would end public Wifi to “protect copyrighted material”.
The U.K. government will not exempt universities, libraries, and small businesses providing open Wi-Fi services from its Digital Economy Bill copyright crackdown, according to official advice released earlier this week.
This would leave many organizations open to the same penalties for copyright infringement as individual subscribers, potentially including disconnection from the Internet, leading legal experts to say it will become impossible for small businesses and the like to offer Wi-Fi access. (Cnet)
Anyone who has actually used a shared public Wifi connection knows that the idea of downloading a movie from it is laughable, and and uploading one impossible. I think that this is more about forcing people to pay for access away from home than protecting copyright.
With the world economy in a pervasive funk, it’s worth noting that the internet continues to grow. Both in terms of TLD’s and traffic, exponential increases continue. Even with artificial bandwidth limits, this demonstrates people want to interact, learn and do more business online.
According to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief from VeriSign, the total base of registered Top-Level Domain Names (TLDs) grew in 2009.
VeriSign reported that in 2009, the base of TLDs expanded by 15 million domains names to a total of 192 million domain registration across all TLDs. (internet news)
The online marketplace wants to grow. Not even outrageous prices and stagnant bandwidth imposed by a duopoly can impede it. Imagine a free market with gigabit connections at priced lower than the megabit connections we have.
It’s been a little over 10 months since we mentioned open text purveyor Flat World Knowledge. Since then, with a very limited, but growing offering, the company’s user base has exploded going from 0 to 40,000 in a single year. The concept is simple: Texts are free, and printed copies can be purchased as is or in instructor modified form at very low cost.
Not only a new business model for textbooks, I believe it is yet another illustration of how creative commons can fuel learing and economic opportunity.
IT Conversations recently posted an interview with Flat World’s Eric Frank and Jon Williams. You can hear them discuss open source textbooks on our handy player below: