Susan Crawford has a plan for getting us fast Internet access for jobs, community, education, and health care.
Susan Crawford wrote for Wired 2 October 2012, We Can’t All Be in Google’s Kansas: A Plan for Winning the Bandwidth Race, about how the incumbent telephone and cable companies that provide our Internet access aren’t going to help:
They have no incentive to do so. Because they never enter one another’s territories, they don’t face the competition that might spur such expansion.
Instead, incumbent internet access providers such as Comcast and Time Warner (for wired access) and AT&T and Verizon (for complementary wireless access) are in “harvesting” mode. They’re raising average revenue per user through special pricing for planned “specialized services” and usage-based billing, which allows the incumbents to constrain demand. The ecosystem these companies have built is never under stress, because consumers do their best to avoid heavy charges for using more data than they’re supposed to. Where users have no expectation of abundance, there’s no need to build fiber on the wired side of the business or build small cells fed by fiber on the wireless side.
If the current internet access providers that dominate the American telecommunications landscape could get away with it, they’d sell nothing but specialized services and turn internet access into a dirt road.
So what is her plan?Continue reading