High fiber

The United States is where the Internet was born. But we’re falling behind in the race to the online future. Most of us go online these days using a service that’s called broadband – faster than old-fashioned dial-up, and always on. But broadband service in the U.S. lags behind a dozen or more industrialized countries – and we’re doing worse every year. Need to Know correspondent Rick Karr traveled to the U.K. and the Netherlands – with support from the Ford Foundation and in collaboration with the website Engadget – to find out how these two countries have jumped ahead of us online. This is a story about capitalism, competition, dynamism and innovation in what is arguably the most important industry of the 21st century. Old-fashioned American values, right? Then why are we being left so far behind?

Related documents:

 Correspondent Rick Karr’s letter to AT&T
 AT&T’s response

 Correspondent Rick Karr’s letter to Verizon
 Verizon’s response

 
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Comments

  • Paul

     This was the best documentary I’ve seen in many, many years.  I have never heard of Rick Karr or Ms. Rate, but I hope they  continue working on shows that are similarly  insightful, and, pass my appreciation on to the others who helped put this show together.  And I really wish the leaders in the US would see this.
    Paul Overhauser
    poverhauser@gmail.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leo-Jordan/775509550 Leo Jordan

    It’s called big business greed.  That is why we don’t have the policies that allow us to compete.

  • SeaRay

     Another APT reason for me to vacate the U.S., 
    (and its ISP / telecom “duopolies”), 
    for the Netherlands!!! (The REAL “Land of Freedom”!!!)

  • Mac29

     Anyone know where I can find the list cited in the story? I’m interested in who did the study and where countries fall in the complete list. This is just one paragraph.
    Thanks, Mac

  • Smith

      You’re never going to get an objective from the duopoly. They are going to be for what is ever best for them.

  • Grahnd13

    Amsterdam. Internet cafes and high speed weed/internet. I’m in. 

  • Nilesprinting

    http://www.bbpmag.com is the website for Broadband Properties magazine and there is a wealth of information available there.

  • Anonymous

    The U.S. does not really believe in competition, but corporate fascism. Tax dollars built the internet and computers for the no-risk capitalists to exploit and charge us ridiculous fees with. They get bailouts and subsidies and prance around posing as “rugged individualists.” They are all just little babies who need nannies to take care of them. In Europe, you really get something worthwhile for the taxes you pay. Here, you pay taxes and get nothing but grief because they’re taking what little good that was provided away from us.

  • Anonymous

    The U.S. does not really believe in competition, but corporate fascism. Tax dollars built the internet and computers for the no-risk capitalists to exploit and charge us ridiculous fees with. They get bailouts and subsidies and prance around posing as “rugged individualists.” They are all just little babies who need nannies to take care of them. In Europe, you really get something worthwhile for the taxes you pay. Here, you pay taxes and get nothing but grief because they’re taking what little good that was provided away from us.

  • MacGordie
  • MacGordie
  • Mr_Natural

     I’ll toke to that.

  • Dan

     Great great piece, Rick. FYI, about 20 seconds from the end, there’s an offline clip that got missed in your edit session. I’ve shared this link with tons of friends already, including a friend who works for Internet2 in Holland. Curious to hear his response.

  • Dp10198631

    Milton Friedman……YOU ARE GOD!

  • Mr_Natural

    The message was right, but I wish these knot-headed journalism majors would learn the terminology. Rick Karr kept babbling about the “power” of high speed fiber optics when he really meant the speed. Power is not an issue. The advantage of fiber is speed.
     

  • jan

    My translation of the accompanying letters from AT & T and Verizon. 

    “We have to support unbundling over there in order to do business over there.  Here in the U.S., where we have better control (still think we’re in a free market, people?) we can do whatever we want, charge whatever we want, and there’s nothing the customers can do about it but pay if they want the services.”  

    Meanwhile we continue to fall further and further behind in spite of several attempts by Congress to give money to the providers to build the thing. 

  • Banicki

    The answer as to why we have fallen behind is simple; we are losing our free markets.

    ‘People of the same
    trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the
    conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or in some
    contrivance to raise prices.’ (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776).
     What
    does the American auto industry, the health care industry, wall street
    firms and the banking industry all have in common; other than they were
    all on the brink of failure?

    These are industries where the production side of the industry is no
    longer a free market with many producers competing head-to head to earn
    the business of consumers, or customers, of the industry. Instead each
    of these industries are controlled by a relatively small number of very
    large corporations that have transformed these markets into oligopolies. Read More Click Here

  • Banicki

     We lost our free markets.

    ‘People of the same
    trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the
    conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or in some
    contrivance to raise prices.’ (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776).
     What
    does the American auto industry, the health care industry, wall street
    firms and the banking industry all have in common; other than they were
    all on the brink of failure?

    These are industries where the production side of the industry is no
    longer a free market with many producers competing head-to head to earn
    the business of consumers, or customers, of the industry. Instead each
    of these industries are controlled by a relatively small number of very
    large corporations that have transformed these markets into oligopolies.  http://www.freeourfreemarkets.org/2009/12/free-our-free-markets.html#more

  • Larry K Mason

    Thank you.

  • Banicki

     The quote below is from the book Capitalism and Freedom written by
    Milton and Rose Friedman. Dr. Friedman is the economist who is quoted most often
    when conservatives are praising free markets and capitalism.

    “But we cannot rely on custom or conscious alone to interpret and
    enforce the rules; we need an umpire.These then are the basic role of government
    in a free society; to provide a means where we can modify rules, to mediate
    differences among us on the meaning of rules, and to enforce compliance with the
    rules on the part of those few who otherwise would not play the
    game”

    For whatever reason, this part of Dr. Friedman’s
    philosophy is never mentioned when it comes to making “free markets” work.

    http://www.freeourfreemarkets.org/2011/05/higher-tax-rates-vs-higher-tax-income.html

  • http://penvspaper.com/blog Jeffrey Tang

    More like short-sightedness. Remaining competitive leads to more profit in the long run. 

  • http://www.POTUSworld.com Dennis Moore

    After watching news reports like the “High Fiber” segment on Need to Know, I sometimes feel like we Americans are living in a foggy bubble floating aimlessly in slow motion. Having traveled, seen other similar news stories, checked facts and read diverse data from around the world, it is clear too much of America is like a 19th century man dressed in 21st century clothes. Our facade and ego blinds us from the reality of what’s happening globally. We are no longer “Number One” in the things that really matter in this new millennium, like infrastructure, mortality, technology, energy, education and critical thinking. However, we do excel at producing so called reality TV shows, a.k.a. junk food for the brain.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=683451668 Rick Karr

    Mr. Natural –

    We’re well aware that bandwidth is the difference, not the wattage of the laser pulses on the fiber. But during test screenings we found folks who don’t know much about how fiber data transmission works tend to get confused by use of the word “speed” — they tend to think “speed” refers to how quickly an application launches or how quickly one can get online.

    The scientific definition of “power” is “the rate at which work is performed”. The notion of power was more easily understood by viewers during our screenings. Therefore we opted to use a metaphor rather than the literal term.

    By the way, this knotheaded journalism major (sic) actually majored in mathematics and computer science.

    Thanks for watching,
    Rick 

  • Mr_Natural

    ”The notion of power was more easily understood by viewers during our screenings.”

    That’s a sad admission that you chose to perpetuate ignorance over educating your viewers. That’s a flawed choice for any audience, all the more appalling when you admit that you consciously deluded your own PBS audience.

  • Mr_Natural

    ”The notion of power was more easily understood by viewers during our screenings.”

    That’s a sad admission that you chose to perpetuate ignorance over educating your viewers. That’s a flawed choice for any audience, all the more appalling when you admit that you consciously deluded your own PBS audience.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks.  That needed to be said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=683451668 Rick Karr

    I don’t want to get bogged down in this, but how is “the rate at which work is performed” in any way inaccurate? Our use of the term is absolutely sound information theory. A higher-bandwidth (i.e. faster) connection is, by definition, more powerful.

  • Anonymous

    INCREASING SPEED DOESN’T ALWAYS HELP

     A couple months ago, I had Quest increase my Internet speed.  By testing with an Internet speed test site, I was able to determine that in fact the speed has increased, but I see no benefit.

    The problem is that many Internet sites, including the New York Times, have either slow servers or slow connections, so Internet users see no benefit from higher connection speeds.

  • Anonymous

    INCREASING SPEED DOESN’T ALWAYS HELP

     A couple months ago, I had Quest increase my Internet speed.  By testing with an Internet speed test site, I was able to determine that in fact the speed has increased, but I see no benefit.

    The problem is that many Internet sites, including the New York Times, have either slow servers or slow connections, so Internet users see no benefit from higher connection speeds.

  • Mr_Natural

    Rick, work has been well-defined for approx. two centuries as Force x Distance, W = F x d. The force required to push photons through a glass fiber is miniscule. Considering that there is no inductive reactance in a glass fiber, it probably takes less force to push photons through glass than it takes to transmit an electrical signal through copper.

    However, neither of these is work. Pushing information through glass or copper does not meet the traditional definition of work. Work and energy are measured in joules. (foot-pounds in the U.S.). For reference, it requires one horsepower to lift 1000 pounds a vertical distance of 33 feet in one minute.

    If you put a mile of copper wire alongside a fiber optic strand, which would require more horsepower to pump a gigabyte of information through?

    I’m teasing, but seriously, if you have a definition of work that applies to information theory, I’d be interested.

  • Robeddy

    Great documentary, Need To Know.  I’m in the greenhouse industry and I understand that the Netherlands’ massive cut flower auctions drive the entire global market. No other country will be able to create such a dominating trading hub if the Netherlands internet speeds are 20X faster. One example of how this investment in infrastructure ensures their global competitiveness.

  • Francis

    Great program, Rick!

    For a comprehensive set of opinions about Australia’s (93% FTTH) National Broadband Network you could do worse than checking out this ABC TV Four Corners program:
    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2011/s3184746.htm

    NBNCo (nbnco.com.au) is a 100% government-owned company that will construct the network and wholesale access at a fixed universal price to all retail providers, regardless of the geographic location and last-mile connection technology of the customer. This follows fifteen years in which the free market has failed to deliver broadband infrastructure to a third of Australia’s 22.5 million population.

    After a 2010 pilot in three small towns Tasmania, the first five Australian mainland towns to get fibre to premises have now been cabled and switched on and are in UAT mode until billing commences from September 2011. The NBN also includes two redundant satellites for 12 Mbps service to the 300,000 most remote premises, and 12 Mbps wireless broadband for about 4% of outlying premises which are beyond the cost-effective reach of fibre. Fibre speeds to the 93% (10.1 million) of premises will be available in a choice of 12/1, 25/10, 50/20, 100/40 and 1000/400 Mbps.

    Wishing you the best of luck getting fibre beyond a few telco-profitable cities in the US.

  • Missingxtension

    That is simply not true, speed makes a huge difference. It might not for you, but in my house we have 2 laptops 1 desktop and I share files with my brother 2 apartments down.
    My son can be on pbs kids, I can be downloading with torrent while my wife watches hulu and who knows what my brother is doing on his end.
    The a bigger pipe is not going to benefit if you don’t have enough traffic.
    I remember when I got dsl and nobody had dsl, eventually dsl was not enough.
    There is more going on here than just the web.
    I am not wealthy by any means, I just always had computers.

  • Dewayne Hendricks

     Is there a 2nd page in the AT&T response to Rick Karr’s letter. It would be nice to see their entire response if there is. Thanks!

  • Shea

    When I read the response from AT&T and Verizon about why they do not embrace the advances in internet service as in other countries all I hear is blah, blah, blah, bullsh… It is typical for them to resist change because they are afraid of more competition. It reminds me of the crap cable services we have to deal with. They (the government and the businesses) are always holding back progress. F-ing capitalists.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dane.jasper Dane Jasper

     …also, the video ends abruptly at a bit under 13 minutes, without a wrap-up and conclusion. Is there more?

    -Dane

  • Davewyatt

     In the late mid 1980’s enormous funding and tax advantages were given to the giants in U.S. telecommunication by government. Their charge was to develop and deliver the best, fastest, most reliable internet in the world. Where did the money come from ?  Where all such funding originates. From the American people of course.
    Where did it go ? We know this also. Into the pockets of top executives, lobbyists, politicians and it continues but is never discussed in the media.
    Today it’s the banking and finance industries as well as other business entities, considered by decision makers- (top executives, lobbyists and politicians), “to big to fail”.
    What did we get for our money ? Sadly an internet communication system- (which was created by America) currently ranked 16th in the world and with little chance to ever catch up. We’re too far behind at a time when technology is racing forward and many countries- (at least 15)  are positioned to keep pace with advances as they develop.
    Another example of how our government, in concert with mega business, have cheated the American people.

  • Davewyatt

     In the late mid 1980’s enormous funding and tax advantages were given to the giants in U.S. telecommunication by government. Their charge was to develop and deliver the best, fastest, most reliable internet in the world. Where did the money come from ?  Where all such funding originates. From the American people of course.
    Where did it go ? We know this also. Into the pockets of top executives, lobbyists, politicians and it continues but is never discussed in the media.
    Today it’s the banking and finance industries as well as other business entities, considered by decision makers- (top executives, lobbyists and politicians), “to big to fail”.
    What did we get for our money ? Sadly an internet communication system- (which was created by America) currently ranked 16th in the world and with little chance to ever catch up. We’re too far behind at a time when technology is racing forward and many countries- (at least 15)  are positioned to keep pace with advances as they develop.
    Another example of how our government, in concert with mega business, have cheated the American people.

  • Anonymous

     South Korea’s president Lee announced recently that he and parliament are spearheading a push to rewire South Korean homes to enable 2 gig/sec with little to zero increase in cost of roughly $25 per month for high speed internet. In South Korea, there’s less than one day wait time to get hooked up with a new interent account and no class action law suits are needed on a mass scale to correct a history of overcharges from Verizon and Comcast.

  • Cris2harris

    You said it just right 

  • Bernd Schwarz

     Samuel Morse realized that his communication system would require supersize capital and an authoritarian management and governing structure.  This necessity would breed a powerful and abusive organization, given that most leadership will give priority to private gain over any degree of public interest. AT&Telegraph is still with us, but Morse’s’ ideals are in short supply both early in the nineteenth and twenty-first century.  In addition to the organizational hurdles, there are the technical barriers.
      Eric use of the word “power” and its concept in physics is not that far of the mark or poetic. Power is energy per time; and energy is required to lower entropy.  Information is the inverse of entropy.  Hence lower entropy, which is poetically a quantification of disorder in a system, means higher levels of information. And this means the whole system including the humans; not only the fiber optic conduits.

  • Kenbefound

     Hard to say, my internet connection speed is throttled by Verizon leaving me with hick-ups and connection issues.

  • Kenbefound

    I’m really getting tired of hearing how the U.S. is the greatest country in the world by our politicians & leaders when other countries are surpassing us in so many quality of life areas (healthcare, education, infrastructure, etc.). We really really really need to take this country back to the people and reduce the high level of influence business is having on the law makers. They are all making BIG money on the backs of the average citizen who increasingly has less money to spend. We’ve all seen the reports how the middle class wage has flat lined in the past few decades. It will work itself out eventually. I just pray I live to see it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jmt2010ghostwolf Jon Thomas

    Great article. Keep up the good work.

    This gives my wife and I another reason to look at leaving the U.S.  We are live in central Nebraska, we are not represented politically (total Red state except for Omaha), and we are surrounded by ignorant hillbillies that think educational television is the work of Satan. 

    Maybe someday Americans will realize we have fallen way behind the rest of the world due to their own stupidity, plus .gov and big corps greed and short-sightedness.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_USDUQZFFVLMRT4VSGSIKBECGDM Reginald Stonebody

    Seriously need to vote people in that aren’t afraid of AT&T/Verizon or their hit men. The most influential companies in america are horribly afraid of the internet and they intend on keeping it on a tight leash. Unfortunately, most American votes can be bought by TV ads, so this will go nowhere. by TV ads, so this will go nowhere.

  • Georgeandgracie

    you say to take it back to “the people”.  you mean the people who vote republican even though they are economically poor?  those types?  (I don’t understand those types!).

  • Anonymous

    Aaaand the video started re-buffering the second they did their head to head contest. metaExample!

  • Anonymous

    The part about the opposite policies in the US and the UK was so telling. It seems like a perfect example of the regulators in the UK looking at the market and forward thinking making policies that effect the quality of the system as a whole and err on the side of the consumer whereas in the US the regulators make policies that benefit the corporations to the detriment of the consumers.

  • Spike

    Took me about 17 minutes of buffering to watch the 12 minute video on Sympatico in Toronto Canada. Pathetic.

  • Spike

    Took me about 17 minutes of buffering to watch the 12 minute video on Sympatico in Toronto Canada. Pathetic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=683451668 Rick Karr

    Mr. N –

    Please see Bernd Schwarz’s reply above — he explains the information-theoretical angle very elegantly.

  • Francis from Australia

     Well, the real telco studies (not at my fingertips) have found that from exchange to premises, an FTTP network (fiber to premises) in practice consumes about 20% of the electrical power (measured as Watts per gigabyte) compared to a copper service.

  • ZoltanZ

     I’d like to know just what was measured. The discussion started with my complaint that the word “power” was misused several times in the narrative, when the intended meaning was rate of information transfer, also called bandwidth, or bits per second, or simply speed.  The advantage of fiber optic cable over copper wire is not power but speed. Access to high-speed communication was the point of the documentary. I don’t think there exists such a thing as “high power” communication.

  • Mr_Natural

    Rick

    Bernd is trying to use entropy in two separate, unrelated senses simultaneously: physical (thermodynamics) and information theory. It
    makes interesting word play but I can’t make sense of it. If he arranges it in stanzas with a metric cadence he could submit it to the New Yorker for their poetry section. lol

    BTW, I should have started my first comment with an acknowledgment that the narrative was very well done. My complaint was a minor quibble in the overall context. I hope the work will have some positive political impact. We have to keep bringing this matter to the attention of our representatives. BTW, In my reply to Francis, above, my name appears as ZoltanZ. I wasn’t logged in at the time.

  • Mr_Natural

    Rick

    Bernd is trying to use entropy in two separate, unrelated senses simultaneously: physical (thermodynamics) and information theory. It
    makes interesting word play but I can’t make sense of it. If he arranges it in stanzas with a metric cadence he could submit it to the New Yorker for their poetry section. lol

    BTW, I should have started my first comment with an acknowledgment that the narrative was very well done. My complaint was a minor quibble in the overall context. I hope the work will have some positive political impact. We have to keep bringing this matter to the attention of our representatives. BTW, In my reply to Francis, above, my name appears as ZoltanZ. I wasn’t logged in at the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=683451668 Rick Karr

    Mr. N –

    I was sincere above when I thanked you for the kind words — you did mention that the message was right.

    The jury’s still out on whether the use of “entropy” is all that different. Note that the Shannon Equation, which leads to a definition of “entropy” in information theory, looks suspiciously … identical! … to the standard thermodynamic definition of entropy. The metaphor, in other words, operates on a very high level; under Shannon’s theorem, higher bandwidth along a communication channel is a direct parallel to more energy being pumped into a system (i.e. … more power!) under the thermodynamic paradigm. In other words, information performs work.

    –R

  • Tmeijknecht

    It’s all a about profit for Verizon and AT & T. They accept te situation in de UK because the US is their main base for profit. They think competition is bad for their profitmargin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001665919371 Jingo Rex

    ive spent a lot of travel time in europe, asia and australia…internet in the USA is waaaay better than anyone else’s…i dont know about the authors of this piece but i think they’re full of shit and just banking on the idea that PBS people are naive left wing sheep that will obediently nod their heads when they’re told to hate the mean old USA and booga booga capitalism that has made this country the greatest in the world…you would have to be an idiot that has never been anywhere else in the world not to know this article is complete Bullshit…in other words, a democrat voter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=683451668 Rick Karr

    Jingo –

    Please cite statistics. Because the statistics — from the Harvard report that we cited in the piece and many other sources — say U.S. broadband is, at best, middlin’ by world standards.

  • http://twitter.com/LCWoodson Chad Woodson

    It’s pathetic that we’ve come to accept “good enough” as an approach to many ways of doing things in the U.S.  We invented the internet and AT&T says that we’re “performing well” and in 2nd place to Sweden according to the May 2011 “Connectivity Scorecard”.  The Connectivity Scorecard measures everything from mobile phones to the number of computers and even software skills, not just broadband connectivity.  Why should we be second to a country that has an economy smaller than the state of Ohio??  The Harvard Berkman study lays it out clearly…READ BOTH REPORTS and decide what’s more accurate!

    More Americans should be angry about this and doing something about it.http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/newsroom/broadband_review_finalhttp://www.connectivityscorecard.org/

  • Justin Cordes

     The date above the video link says May 13, 2011 but this video was updated just recently no?  Anyhow, this is a great news package and really gets to the heart of the matter.  If the effin phone and/or cable companies would open up the network and share the cost of getting fiber to EVERYONE then they could make more money.  Simple as that.

    By the way, we, as a nation have already paid for a fiber network to the tune of $120 billion dollars but never received it.  The FCC and local governments never held the phone companies’ feet to the fire and forced them to actually deliver.  You can read more about it here: http://www.newnetworks.com/BroadbandandDSL.htm

  • Anonymous

    The houseboats in the canals of Amsterdam do have high speed internet, but
    their toilets still dump their sewage straight into in the canals. The disposal
    of the city’s sewage was originally one of its functions, but the sewage is now
    collected in sewers and disposed off after treatment.

     

    However, before you indict the Dutch of such unsanitary
    conditions, you should know that in the USA open waters also still are used
    as urinals, since EPA never implemented the Clean Water Act as it was intended.
    Due to a faulty applied pollution test, EPA only addresses 40% of the oxygen exerting
    pollution in sewage Congress intended to ‘treat”. Most of this pollution is
    nitrogenous (urine and protein) waste, while this waste, besides exerting an
    oxygen demand (just like fecal waste), also is a fertilizer for algae,
    contributes to eutrophication often resulting in dead zones, now showing up in
    most open waters.

     

    Although this can be verified in any text book, nobody in
    the media seems to be willing to spend some time to learn what sewage is, how
    it impacts water quality and how it can and should be treated. If they would
    spend some time, they will learn that EPA in 1984 acknowledged the problems
    caused by this test, but refused to correct it. They also will learn that EPA
    already in 1978 was aware that much better sewage treatment, including
    nitrogenous waste, was possible and actually would cost less compared to the
    conventional facilities that are based on a century old odor control
    technology.

    Sadly, another fact is that if the media is not interested,
    neither are politicians and nobody is holding EPA accountable.

  • Anonymous

    The houseboats in the canals of Amsterdam do have high speed internet, but
    their toilets still dump their sewage straight into in the canals. The disposal
    of the city’s sewage was originally one of its functions, but the sewage is now
    collected in sewers and disposed off after treatment. 

    However, before you indict the Dutch of such unsanitary
    conditions, you should know that in the USA open waters also still are used
    as urinals, since EPA never implemented the Clean Water Act as it was intended.
    Due to a faulty applied pollution test, EPA only addresses 40% of the oxygen exerting
    pollution in sewage Congress intended to ‘treat”. Most of this pollution is
    nitrogenous (urine and protein) waste, while this waste, besides exerting an
    oxygen demand (just like fecal waste), also is a fertilizer for algae,
    contributes to eutrophication often resulting in dead zones, now showing up in
    most open waters. 

    Although this can be verified in any text book, nobody in
    the media seems to be willing to spend some time to learn what sewage is, how
    it impacts water quality and how it can and should be treated. If they would
    spend some time, they will learn that EPA in 1984 acknowledged the problems
    caused by this test, but refused to correct it. They also will learn that EPA
    already in 1978 was aware that much better sewage treatment, including
    nitrogenous waste, was possible and actually would cost less compared to the
    conventional facilities that are based on a century old odor control
    technology.Sadly, another fact is that if the media is not interested,
    neither are politicians and nobody is holding EPA accountable.

  • Longstride

    I’m one of those “naive left wing sheep” and friend you’re the one that’s full of shit.  
    You do realize that the people who read this aren’t sequestered in some little backwater burg in Kansas or Oklahoma do you not?  Some of us “PBS people” do get out and about on occasion.  Why, I’ve actually lived – that lived, not traveled or visited – in Europe, Asia and Oceania.  Or could it be that the people who are reading this correspond with friends, family and business in the very countries you mentioned… over the internet?
    The naive sheep, or as we PBS people like to call them “Sheeple”, aren’t on the left.  The left likes to use it’s intellect.  It’s the right that follows the flock.  Witness the TEA Party?  What better example is there of hyde bound dogma and regimentation?
    If you actually had spent any time outside Kansas, or maybe in a classroom other than your Sunday School, you would never have penned the piece you did.  The tone you have used to express yourself identifies you immediately.
    Pal, if you actually had an intellect you would have known better that to wave your “I’m a Dumb-ass flag” in a crowd of folks who’ve been there and done that.
    You actually are the king of Jingo, “Here’s your sign”! 

     

  • Lbalwin

    Since passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, local telephone companies have been forced to share local loops to consumers with competitors. Competition has not affected prices significantly because of the concentration of power via mergers and lack of regulatory power and resolve to see that consumers are served over the interests of corporations.
    Even with these drawbacks, the author of this piece seems to have dismissed the response of AT&Ts Rick Karr who pointed out that “The May 2011 “Connectivity Scorecard” report from the University of Calgary – which reflects the ability of connectivity to contribute to economic growth – shows the US coming a close second to Sweden in the global rankings, with the UK in eighth place.” So much for open and unbiased reporting.
    This was a non-story from the beginning. If you actually have access to investigative reporting the real issue with the internet is the bandwidth caps ISPs/media companies are placing on subscribers to discourage moving large files and in particular video streaming, which is competing with these same ISPs cable service offerings. Large files and streaming do tax the internet’s backbone capacity, but this infrastructure can be expanded and should never stand in the way of progress.

  • Lbalwin

    Since passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, local telephone companies have been forced to share local loops to consumers with competitors. Competition has not affected prices significantly because of the concentration of power via mergers and lack of regulatory power and resolve to see that consumers are served over the interests of corporations.
    Even with these drawbacks, the author of this piece seems to have dismissed the response of AT&Ts Rick Karr who pointed out that “The May 2011 “Connectivity Scorecard” report from the University of Calgary – which reflects the ability of connectivity to contribute to economic growth – shows the US coming a close second to Sweden in the global rankings, with the UK in eighth place.” So much for open and unbiased reporting.
    This was a non-story from the beginning. If you actually have access to investigative reporting the real issue with the internet is the bandwidth caps ISPs/media companies are placing on subscribers to discourage moving large files and in particular video streaming, which is competing with these same ISPs cable service offerings. Large files and streaming do tax the internet’s backbone capacity, but this infrastructure can be expanded and should never stand in the way of progress.

  • Anonymous

    Goes to show, the bandwidth caps in the US are totally bogus.  Capping second rate service at high prices = monopoly exploitation and greed.

  • Jazzact

    Haven’t been able to watch the complete report today. It keeps stopping at random points.  Doesn’t seem to be a cx problem (office LAN) but I’ll try again tomorrow.