Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Regulation--So You Can Subsidize Internet Access For Others

From the Wall Street Journal:

Federal regulators are considering whether the government should take greater control of the Internet and ask consumers to pay higher phone charges in order to provide all Americans with cheaper access to broadband Internet service.

Do you think internet access is a "utility" that everyone deserves to have, even if they can't afford it? Should the US government charge you more for phone use so that someone in Alturas, or Appalachia, can have cheaper broadband?

This is what happens when you don't enforce limits on your government. "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves", according to Edward R. Murrow.


Ronnie said...

I don't know enough about our country's history of communication technologies but if there was some sort of television/radio/phone service required for a given area that was funded through taxation at one point in our history then a similar program for internet access is entirely reasonable. Subsidized internet isn't a terrible idea for our country's future and will keep remote parts of our country viable areas of commerce. With regard to your comment on phone taxation, I'm all for adding the tax to landline phone service since it will help push the country towards new technology and away from a system designed for a different age. The internet is the most useful utility since electricity since it can replace television/radio/phone and the library all in one service and has more room for competition than any one of those services ever did.

Darren said...

The internet *is* pretty important, which is a good enough reason to keep government out of it as much as possible--although I'm sure you disagree. :-)

Anonymous said...

In the meantime, Japan and South Korea enjoy connections that outpace Americans by a factor of 12. Our Internet runs at 1/12th the speed of Japan's.

It wasn't like this during the Clinton Administration. Clear evidence points to lack of interest in the Bush Administration for the downfall of US connectivity.

Color me unsurprised.

Darren said...

It is not the responsibility of the federal government to ensure everyone has internet access.

But it doesn't surprise me that you don't address that issue, which is at the heart of what I wrote.

I'm quite familiar with Japan's connectivity speeds and would like for us to have the same, but I'm not willing to give Washington even more control over my life in order to get it.