"Municipal broadband may or may not make sense for a particular community, but the idea is not exactly one being pushed by beret-capped socialists quoting “Das Kapital.” On the contrary, it’s cold-eyed disciples of Adam Smith — specifically business leaders, the captains of the private sector — who are usually the most enthusiastic champions."
Last month, Mark Sullivan wrote a column expounding on the obvious: deregulation of broadband service providers has failed to produce the promised competition, Americans pay more for less than peers in other countries, and this is an area where smart government policy would benefit everyone.
When it comes to broadband, I’m a socialist. Why? Because broadband service in the United States is currently provided by a cableco/telco duopoly, and, as such, is slower and more expensive than in most of the developed world, studies show. Because I don't believe the FCC can fix that lack of competition within the current regulatory framework, despite the ambitious goals set forth in its National Broadband Plan. Because a reasonably-priced alternative to cable or telco broadband might be just the thing to bring competition to the industry and spur U.S. broadband cost and quality to world-class levels. Because our connectedness increasingly dictates our our economic standing in the world: Broadband is as important to us as the interstate highway system--a public works project--was to Eisenhower-era America.
Notice that the commenters at the bottom pile on against the idea - though they clearly have little idea what they are talking about. There has been no discussion of the government taking over networks owned by the private sector and there is little reason to believe local government would be more likely to violate privacy than a company motivated solely by profits ... in fact, I would argue the private sector is considerably more likely to violate privacy than local governments.
As for Brett Glass, his comments long ago proved that he lives in a fantasy world. In his small town, there are 9 broadband competitors! Well, at least we know where the competition is - it surely is not present in my community.
While I was researching recent developments in the BVU OptiNet, I stumbled across a hilarious comment to a news post. I have tried to track down the original source but have not been able to find anything. I am going to reprint it here, assuming the author would appreciate it...
This was written by someone apparently fed up with all the claims about what is socialism and what isn't. I think it simply serves as a good reminder of the role government plays in our lives -- often transparently.
This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by socialist electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the socialist clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the socialist radio to one of the FCC regulated channels to hear what the socialist National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using socialist satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of socialist US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the socialist drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.
At the appropriate time, as kept accurate by the socialist National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my socialist National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the socialist roads build by the socialist local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the socialist Environmental Protection Agency, using socialist legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door, I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the socialist US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the socialist public school. If I get lost, I can use my socialist GPS navigation technology developed by the United States Department of Defense and made available to the public in 1996 by President Bill Clinton who issued a policy directive declaring socialist GPS to be a dual use military civilian system to be managed as a national socialist asset....