Saturday, March 28, 2009

Forget about broadband mapping; it's time for consumers to take control

I concur with Art Brodsky of Public Knowledge that "broadband mapping" is an exercise in distraction and a waste of time and money better directed to getting broadband infrastructure in place. Infrastructure that was needed yesterday, last year and five years ago in much of the U.S. No map can provide that.

In fact, as Brodsky suggests, mapping is nothing but a feel good PR ploy favored by the telco/cable duopoly to create an impression they're doing something to fill in the holes while at the same time playing hide the pea. It's about going through the motions while doing nothing.

Homeowners and small business owners don't need a map to know they're in a broadband black hole when they're forced to resort to early 1990s era dial up or substandard satellite for Internet connectivity. They should get together with their neighbors and take control of their telecommunications destiny by forming fiber optic telecom consumer cooperatives as quickly as possible and applying for federal and state grants and loans to help finance the cost of deploying the fiber. Bringing the U.S. last mile telecommunications infrastructure up to date is a bottom up-- not top down -- endeavor that does not require maps.

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