Thursday, June 16, 2005

A right to broadband?

To say the very least, so called “class warfare” is divisive and a cheap attempt to inflame the passions of people that are envious of those that have achieved a greater amount of success. Such is often couched in terms of “haves and have-nots”. The latest pet-project of egalitarian crusaders is the subject of a piece from AlterNet.
Now the battle to close the digital divide has spilled onto another front--the fight for free municipal broadband services. After last year's Supreme Court ruling that states can bar "cities from offering high-speed Internet services," lobbyists from the telecommunications industry swarmed on state capitals with one singular purpose: "to take cities out of the broadband business by state dictum."
What they fail to realize (or fail to admit) is that municipal does not mean free. No, municipal in this case means tax subsidized high-speed internet service. Or more specifically, Peter paying the bill so Paul can enjoy internet access…whether Peter consents or not. In fact, Peter is greedy for insisting that he keep more of his own money and evil for suggesting that Paul pay for his own DSL, or do without until he can afford it. The article goes on to further confuse the issue by casting local governments as disenfranchised.
Desperate to maintain their monopoly, telecom giants have "done their best to demonize" municipal broadband projects, launching "an aggressive lobbying and misinformation campaign."
Brilliant! Take a page out of the Clinton playbook, which is of course, blame your opponents for the self-same tactics that you are guilty of yourself. That’s right, municipalities aren’t monopolies that are sustained by misinformation, its private industry. File this under: Arkansas ocean-front property for sale.