Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Telecom infrastructure as a public asset


Broadband Planning and How Government Creates Markets - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 260 | community broadband networks

Author and guest Alex Marshall urges a much needed reframing of advanced telecommunications infrastructure as public asset. Marshall correctly observes that when the public is not in charge, there are going to be problems with it. The United States has them spades with its continued reliance on vertically integrated, investor owned providers using subscription-based business models that lead to widespread infrastructure disparities and deficiencies. It is a short term, opportunistic business model that begets cherry picking of lower cost areas and redlining of higher cost ones.

Marshall analogizes telecom infrastructure to roads and highways that offer widespread benefit and not just to those who own and operate motor vehicles. I share Marshall's view. In my 2015 eBook Service Unavailable: America’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Crisis, I propose the formation of a federal 501(c)(1) nonprofit corporation to build and own fiber optic telecom infrastructure to reach every home, business and institution. And do so as a crash program given the nation is arguably a generation behind where it should be today.

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