Horses and drinking, and the new Dawn of AT&T
I could not help but stumble across these points:
* Complete a national broadband strategy aimed at bringing Americans low-cost high-speed Internet access, including wireless, everywhere they want and need it.
I have to find this report that I know exists, it was quoted a few years ago, and I am sure it is still relevant. Again, how quickly we forget Sprint's ION service and its abysmal failure and massive losses. Anyway, the report queried a large number of Americans, found that the overwhelming majority of those who did not have broadband went without because they did not want it. Period. Dial-up is good enough for them and it is frankly good enough for content delivery. The fact that content services want to tart up their stuff with flashy Flash advertisements and shit like that should not be the driving force for broadband. People whine about how bloated Windows is, well let us turn that gaze onto web pages.
And then there are also city and county libraries where people can access the Internet as they please. And what about municipal WiFi services which keep getting shot down by regulatory services, or ones which never see the light of day or simply fail due to, wait for it, disinterest. "Want and need" takes on a large relevance here.
* Establish a national target for household broadband access at speeds sufficient to support video transmission at a level of quality comparable to the household video services now delivered through cable and satellite television services.
This is unnecessary. TV over the Internet is neither a requirement nor a national right. Cable television service is not available in all areas, so will Cox, ComCast, TCI, and their ilk start receiving money of out my paycheck to expand services? You see, this is how our market system works: when a service or product is not available in a given area, another steps in to take its place. Cannot get cable, then go satellite, or OTA TV using one of the digital receivers for which you were already "given" $40 (each for two, no less) in tax payer money.
* Adopt public policies encouraging consumer demand for broadband services. [and] Continue to use financial incentives to help spur broadband deployment in areas where it has lagged because of market conditions.
And just what public policies are these? How do you drive consumer demand by policy? How do you reconcile this with "want and need?" If market conditions do not encourage broadband expansion, then investment into the build-out of infrastructure may sound good, but the long-term maintenance would still have to be covered by someone. A company may not have to worry about the ROI on a roll-out; it most certainly has to worry about the I-part of that for supporting it.
Electricity and water services were initially not required for living. They still are not in some places I have visited; the people get along just fine without one or the other, or both in some instances. Broadband is not only the same in this respect, but also differs in that there is little way that it will become a necessity without which one cannot live.
I see the ultimate factor here being to control the flow of information, essentially to push information into the faces of the people. To what end? Just like other issues being pushed into our faces, the push for change is predicated on false assumptions of "want and need," when the real wants and needs of the people are being completely ignored, because the people "do not know any better." It does look too much like the apparatus of the State when the talk is of the State itself pushing the information carrier forward. Perhaps we just might see the day when power switches on the telly are illegal.
As for AT&T, this is the Dawn of the New Age of AT&T, indeed. The AT&T of old had a rich history of service and innovations, though I would say in some instances it should have reigned in its legal department better. There was even a year during which the government took it over to find pricing increase 10-fold and customer satisfaction decrease just as much. It was a company which hired non-white-folk who were qualified for the job, regardless of popular opinion of the time, and without the need for affirmative action. But the reborn AT&T is definitely something sinister, for reasons stated prior, causing massive thumb-pricking.
Paris, sinister pricking.