Saturday, July 06, 2013

The 3 big U.S. Internet infrastructure policy choices

The United States now has three major policy options on the build out of Internet infrastructure to serve all American homes, businesses and institutions:
  1. Continuation of the status quo of investor-owned Internet infrastructure and associated private market failure that will leave significant numbers of premises lacking affordable Internet access over the long term and potentially permanently.
  2. A well funded federal aid program including technical assistance grants for community fiber to the premise network construction projects, funded by existing programs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service, a program jointly administered by multiple agencies or by a newly created, dedicated agency.  In addition, federal preemption of state laws barring local governments from constructing, owning or operating Internet infrastructure.
  3. De-privatization of all Internet infrastructure (either immediately or over a period of years) combined with a fast track federal construction project to build out fiber to serve all U.S. premises, similar to the 1950s interstate highway project.

Please add your comments.  Which do you favor and why?

1 comment:

JHop said...

I wonder why your present options don't include regulation of the cable industry on a utility basis, as long-distance telephony once was regulated. It seems to me that, while regulation is out of favor these days, non-private enterprise has even less political support.

You're right on target with the latter part of your point No. 2, though. The states that have preempted municipal broadband service have put their people and businesses in a precarious disadvantage for the future.

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