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December 14, 2003


This is the same guy who predicted the telecomm industry would evolve like the baking industry. Several big players and lots of small ones. In other words Wonder bread for the masses, and $4/ loaf boutique breads for the elite.
Not my idea of equity.

Slashdotted... bye bye server?

One consideration, Big Broadband needs high, bi-directional bandwidth, not just traditional "downstream" bandwidth.

I don't want 100mbps downstream and 128kbps upstream!

Everyone should be able to be a content PROVIDER as well as a consumer!

I have a question, who would be tapped to maintain this huge beast?

Would it be the existing ILECs?
Look what happened the last time a big ILEC had been given such a
responsibility (Verizon in PA).

The government?
and if so, would the federal government be responsible for connectivity
to the home or the local municipality in which
one lives?

A new company formed by the government?
like financially-beleagured AmTrak?

The current incumbent Cable company in a particular area?
There are already enough complaints about price gouging as it is, do you
want to add all who now only use broadcast television and basic telephone
service to that mix?

Some additional ramblings:
What about competition?
What ensures that smaller providers would be able to play ball on this field and provide greater diversity of services like is possible now for DSL but generally not Cable?
I would assume that current Cable and Satellite providers could fall back on their roles as competitive gatekeepers to for-pay content and I'd bet they would just love to shed their costly-to-maintain infrastructure. Current ILECs and other Telephony providers would have to learn to live in a new world of VoIP.
Where would government taxes be levied? from the monthly service fee of having the line? If so, why should broadcast television get free carriage over that? Isn't that tantamount to giving away the over-the-air band for free at that point? They innundate the American public with advertisements and base their business model on collection of revenue from advertisements. Shouldn't the broadcast of their content over this new broadband system be subsidized by some of that revenue for the privilege of reaching that American public?
What of the huge telecomms workforces that would have to be retooled to work with this new infrastructure? It should be a reasonably small change from what is done now but it should be considered.

See commentary at Onotech

Citizens themselves should build the network, and demand from the dirty politicians that they give them the right of ways to do it. Let each community at the neighborhood level pay for the install and decide who will do the actual work. Some would organize on a voluntary basis, others may choose to support their local union workers etc….Then the communities could charge the big corporations for access to their network.

Wouldn't this attitude have been more helpful while he was still at the FCC?


An aggressively constructive telecommunications policy is exactly what the US needs to address a host of negative trends.

For example, outsourcing will continue to eat US jobs broadly and deeply, and pretty much forever, unless we can adaptively organize our workforce more rapidly than the competition and react to market changes faster than the competition, thereby making business, government, and each of us more efficient. Only a bottom-up participatory-enabling technology can do that. That's Big Broadband. We can use it to spontaneously create far flung teams of people who have the right skills to serve new tasks. We can use it to retrain workers. We can dominate the rising industries of interactive gaming, movies into the home, telecommunication-based (re)education, videophone and teleconferencing, and a hundred new technologies and industries that *will* accompany Big Broadband.

Hasn't the explosive rise of the Net and the WWW already demonstrated the importance and inevitability of this technology? What in the hell are we waiting for?

Wouldn't it be nice if people actually looked into the history of high speed internetworking , telecom, and catv before making blanket statements about how they're the visionary?
Reed - 3 words:
Western Integrated Networks. $1.2B in initial funding to do exactly what you're describing.
Single-mode, 10/100MBps bi-directionally ip over ethernet to the side of the home. 80% take rate on services. Maybe Reed should hook up with Gore and invent a big WAN to help people in different parts of the world communicate.

Fiber and big bandwidth to every home and business ASAP would secure our global economic dominance for the next 50 years. Highway building funds are another possible way to cover the expense. If we could take 20% of the traffic off our existing highway system by telecommuting (hey, let's all work one day a week at home), we would't need new roads. We would just have to maintain what we have. All the new road funding should more than pay for universal fiber access.

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