By "Broadband" They Mean Banding Together to Broaden Federal Powers

The new FCC broadband policy just looks stupid.  It is classic political campaign fodder -- who can be against high-speed Internet access?  But what are they really trying to achieve?  Well, it does not seem that respect for individual preferances or decision-making has anything to do with it (emphasis added)

In addition, the plan is designed to encourage more people to subscribe to broadband. About two-thirds of U.S. households have high-speed Internet access now. Many people in the other one-third could get broadband but choose not to buy it, either because they think it's too expensive or because they don't see a need for it. The FCC plan calls for increasing adoption rates to more than 90 percent of the population.

So their major goal is to encourage people who do not value high-speed Internet access to suddenly value it.  How?  By force?  By subsidizing people who don't really even want it?   "We elites can't imagine living without Twitter for a whole day so the rest of you need to value the same things too. "

  • MJ

    Substitute "health care" for "broadband" and results in terms of proposed policies are eerily similar.

  • Michael not Mann

    I don't think that is their goal. Once you get the private sector out of the business, the government can screen and block traffic they don't like. This administration tried to create a special press pool to prevent FOX from having access. I wouldn't put it past them to go after the net. They admit they search social sites for negative content.

  • ElamBend

    Just another reason to fund someone's little fiefdom within the leviathan.

  • smurfy

    "The FCC plan calls for increasing adoption rates to more than 90 percent of the population"

    I cannot support a plan that leaves 10% of Americans lacking in basic human rights.

  • sch

    From another POV, get enough wide band out there and behold, the remainder of over the air broadcasting becomes
    superfluous and you free up another large chunk of UHF, just like digital broadcast freed up a big chunk of VHF
    band width for resale. For those not close enough for wired/fiber connex, satcom dishes can be subsidized.

  • The Ministry of Truth'a job will be much easier when everything is digital.

  • jb

    Have you ever tried to stream HD porn with dial-up? Of course broadband is a basic human right!

  • I give up, I really do. Maybe I'll just start to support these ideas, but with conditions. So, I'll support "free" broadband to everyone so long as the government is forced to send every single bill it is considering to every single taxpayer. Then each and every bill must be read and approved by every taxpayer - in fact, we can make all taxpayers take a standardized test on the content of every bill, and if a supermajority of Americans do not pass it, the bill cannot even move. To pass the test, proof that every page of every bill was actually read by the test taker, would be required.

  • Mark

    It is the same argument as the Health care one. Most of us have it but a few don't because the choose not to, or don't value it enough - or could go on a federal program already but don't so we need to have federalized medicine and force everyone into the program.

    Well only 2/3 have broadband, so for those who choose not to, don't value it, or don't want to use an already existing state option (library for instance) we need federalized internet to force everyone on board.

    I think the only thing this will do for us is make us look better in those european polls of best country to live in.

  • mmmwright

    And for what it's worth, the federal government is ALSO trying to push ACTA where they can cut off Internet access in response to alleged copyright infringement. So, on one hand, they want to force the Internet on everyone, and on the other hand, they will take it away if they think you are infringing. At the same time! Ta da!

    Someone should build them a spreadsheet. Or a pie chart. Something.

  • IgotBupkis

    > The Ministry of Truth’a job will be much easier when everything is digital.

    One reason I would never touch a Kindle.

    One of the nice little facts that came out of the "improper sale" scandal (something out of copyright in Canada was sold to US customers where the copyright was still en force -- Amazon "reached into" the American Kindles and killed the purchased items, while refunding the money for the purchase) was the fact that, not only can they "remote kill" books you have, they can also send new content to replace the old contents. Yes, they can ALTER the specific contents of books you've purchased -- without your knowing about it.

    Right down the Memory Hole. Big Brother, much?

  • IgotBupkis

    > Have you ever tried to stream HD porn with dial-up? Of course broadband is a basic human right!

    LOL, have you ever tried to download a Windows Service Pack with dial-up? Yeah, there are legitimate reasons for having broadband, too.

  • Tom G

    I'd say that porn is a perfectly legitimate reason for having broadband.
    Also, wasn't "owning your own home" another policy idea where some people far away felt that everyone's needs or desires for a home were pretty much uniform and OF COURSE those who couldn't or would not pay should be subsidized?

  • Michane not Man

    Didn't porn cut its teeth on steaming during the dial up era?

  • smurfy

    After interest rates rise and I get foreclosed upon, I'm going to need 3G, not broadband.

  • Les

    Satellite is not 'broadband' in the sense that most users think of, it just fakes it by using using heftier carrier-waves to carry more stuff at once to make-up for the killer latency from ground to orbit. Good enough (when your service isn't throttling your usage) for downloads, but useless for real-time applications.

    And yeah, dial-up sucks horribly... even on this site. Why are there so many layers? First layer loads and I can read the site, second grey layer loads and the text becomes illegible and I have to wait for the final layer to load before I can start reading again...

  • IgotBupkis

    P.S. the notion of "broadband as a basic human right" is sort of anathema to the notion of internet-access-licensing, isn't it?

    Under what condition do you have to get a license to exercise a "right"?

    These morons can't put two and two together and get a whole number.

  • I live about 25 miles due East of Bellingham, WA and we have very poor coverage. ComCast comes down the main highway but doesn't hit the side roads where most of the people live. We can go with a Satellite dish but there are many people who cannot afford the $200 install and the $80/month service.

    Houses with kids are finding more and more of their children's homework is web related -- they have to go to the library or a local restaurant every day.

    From the Government's standpoint, I look at this package as just a re-working of Clinton's Telecommunications Reform Act of 1966 which hoovered up $3Bn and nothing was rolled out. This is the same crap, just in a bigger box.

    I and some neighbors are putting in our own broadband service by having T1 lines installed and then reselling the service to our neighbors for $50 month. T1 prices have fallen quite a bit in the last couple of years with the competition from DSL and Cable.

    Broadband is available but you sometimes need to roll up your sleeves and put it in yourself...