Bandwidth Commodity Reverts To Mean

The business culture here in the states is still changing rapidly, and we are facing a long transitional period of educational and economic rebuilding from a manufacturing economy to an information based economy. Power vacuums are shifting, too, but the decisions being made about the resources needed to compete are not in line with what most real people want from our leaders and government. By real people I mean people who own businesses, who work, pay taxes and want the best for all children.

Six reasons we want to add more arts, culture, science, math, and, most of all, access.  It is so all our children can soar! (my pal Amelia’s first ballet class in SoCal.)

I think that is the one contagion that most people want. We want to improve our children’s lives and enjoy our families. We all want our kids to grow up in a safe environment and get a good education. And, we want to live like everyone else lives, within communities of interest where we can compete and make a living. The single thread that goes through all our hopes today is inextricably linked to our ability to connect. We want our country to adopt a framework that allows for the expansion of ideas across technology, education and the arts. We want a wider view of the world not a narrower view of the world.

The currency of today’s revolution is access. Whether you chose Facebook, Twitter, email, or mobile device, you are being tasked with getting by in life by the bandwidth and access you can afford. Take a far flung trip up almost any backwater country and you’ll find folks somehow tethered to the Internet . Just as they may have been tied to the nearest harbor store, bodega or coffee stop. Along with the access, is coming changes to the world that few anticipated, and fewer are able to stop. The Internet always had the ability to be two things at one time. On one hand, the now simple algorithms to allow networks to translate each other’s output, and on the other hand, the enormous power the network retains when it grows. And oh has it grown.

  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  
Does Your Cloud Have a Silver Lining?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Yet there are those who would make decisions based on politics and these decisions are off the mark both for business and education. While we saw President Obama give in to the mega $30 billion merger of Comcast and NBC, then allow an open door to the wireless folks to rearrange the way data is routed and create another revenue stream for the monopolies. We now see reactionary moves by Republicans led by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today joined with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.)

They claim Obama’s halfhearted attempt to prevent carriers from choosing certain content over other content is restrictive. They don’t believe the government should be allowed to prevent any telecom carrier from doing whatever they want, even though these companies have an enormous competitive advantage, and, in many cases, they don’t have any competition.

The problem with this is that a high percentage of the working family’s income is spent on a commodity where there is little innovation and little value added by the conglomerates that own the circuits. That leaves less and less income to spend on the types of products and services that will drive our entire economy longer term and create the entrepreneurial spirit that has made us the center of the information universe. It has also been shown to be anti-competitive when it comes to how we dole out this commodity to its owners. Given the airwaves are supposed to belong to all the people, given they have been behind the curve in making a competitive offering. But why is it important to demand treating access like the commodity that it is?

We are constantly hearing about how Americans own the innovation battles in the global economy, but few understand how to educate a work force to continue innovating, to learn the collaborative creative process and how to build relationships that create an Apple, Inc.; Amazon; Google and the rest. But the “wired” generation in the states hasn’t fared well in today’s U.S. economy and it stands to get degraded further for students and folks trying to get started in the world.

Not so in Asia. “Hong Kong Broadband Network introduced a new option for its fiber-to-the-home service: a speed of 1,000 megabits a second — known as a “gig” — for less than $26 a month.” and from Verizon, “the nation’s leading provider of fiber-to-the-home service, doesn’t offer a gig, or even half that speed. Instead, it markets a “fastest” service that is only 50 megabits a second for downloading and 20 megabits a second for uploading. It costs $144.99 a month. That’s one-twentieth the speed of Hong Kong Broadband’s service for downloading, for more than five times the price.”

South Korea, a country we subsidize, provides similar speeds for next to nothing. In countries most Americans might think are stifling their populations, they are way ahead of the U.S. and widening the gap regularly. You’d be lucky to even get more than 12 MBS and probably have to pay around $40-50 a month for it. China will graduate 6,000,000 scientists and engineers this year to a paltry 50,000 by the U.S. The Internet and access by students will determine who wins the information technology wars.

As long as we can continue to raise smart, well-rounded, liberally educated, communicators, we can compete. If we create bottlenecks by moving power around like it is in the old days, when the Enron’s, and WorldCom’s, to name a couple, attempted to rule the world, we will all suffer. Think back to the 4% unemployment rate and lowest crime rates ever, across the nation, back in the nineties. That is here now and if we can get together to educate our kids, and re-educate our workers, we can compete again. But more of this infighting only helps the opposition and is killing the relationship we thought we had with our government officials. Americans care about each other and we think we ought to be able to raise the bar for everyone.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply