Networking

Will Obama administration usher in universal broadband access?

ZDNet correspondent Sumi Das talks to Senior Editor Sam Diaz about President-elect Barack Obama's response to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation's new report which ranks the U.S. 15th in the world in broadband adoption, below South Korea, Australia, and Norway, to name a few.

ZDNet correspondent Sumi Das talks to Senior Editor Sam Diaz about President-elect Barack Obama's response to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation's new report which ranks the U.S. 15th in the world in broadband adoption, below South Korea, Australia, and Norway, to name a few. Diaz discusses why access is essential and the challenges of wiring a country in the midst of an economic crisis.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

61 comments
boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Too cool. I highly doubt that Obama will have any better luck engaging business - which worships at the altar of power and profit - to update existing infrastructure, much less add any. I expect the status quo will be maintained. Have vs. have not is the name of the game when power/profit is god. Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

he'll then be able to claim he invented the universe :)

jdclyde
jdclyde

is have "the government" do it, and it will be free, right?

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

If life ain't free, neither is anything else.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

As always, discussions are all about fear of change, whether it is the new MS OS or literally ANYTHING the government does, its the people who live for media and hype that make such minor issues into big problems to be feared. As for broadband, I think people look too dig into anything the government says, either too lightly or too seriously, trying to read between lines that often are not even there. I think Obama's concept is to add broadband access as a necessary service to be focused on when rebuilding the US infrastructure, likes roads and bridges, telecom lines etc. Otherwise your great and fantastic nation will continue to slip into the world of obsolesence it pretends it does not face. For a nation who's citizens believe they are the most advanced, capable and knowledgeable of all, you sure don't include the rest of the world when considering such beliefs. You are ahead of third world countries but only just, in some cases. The idiot in the video is a bit off base though, dial up IS sufficient for many users or even high speed light (utilizing the old ISDN BRI/PRI line services at 128kbps). In his example of how inadequate dial up is, he mentions that there are many instances where using the internet is necessary, such as school registrations etc. But that can ALSO be done by phone and to simply view and register on such websites it is not a big deal with dial up, pages load say 10 seconds slower, so what? For a world where regular Kraft Dinner was too slow and tedious of a process that they needed to make INSTANT KD, its no surprise though. Is your microwave too slow now too? I think HIS analogy of how important broadband is, is about as flawed as people's fears of complete government control of your inernet usage in the US, or even worse, censorship. Either stay behind and continue to follow the rest of teh world and recognize that you are not actually leaders, or get up to speed (sorry, bad pun) so people actually believe you when you say you are ahead of the rest.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

so people can 'eat cake' with broadband movies and porn while others are starving due to lack of jobs and an economy shot to 7734! Sure that sounds like a priority! Instead of helping prevent babies from dying we'll help Josh teenager swap unpaid for movies, videogames and songs. Instead of helping with training we'll help foreign credit card gangs have access to zombified high speed connected ocmputers (their favorite types so they can launch spam campaigns and ddos attacks to extort websites) The people who want this still believe in the 'Magical Mystical MOney Fairy' who prints govt money that comes out of thin air without hurting anyone instead of inflating our currency like creating the money via the Fed does or mortgaging our future and freedoms, as issuing Treasury Bonds does by borrowing the money from the chinese who actually save 30% of their income on way less. Satellite doesn't work for both way broadband. Wireless is more expensive than pie in sky estimators predicted (e.g. philadelphia and other cities abandoned their wireless for all) Fiber is great but also REAL EXPENSIVE to the home. My cable system is close. They run fiber to the 'bee box' and cable to my apt complex. Verizon FiOS is good but real expensive. They are spending 10 billion to roll this out right into the home. They were derided as making bad biz decision but it turns out they were right. However if govt was to take this over it would cost $20 billion for the same small chunk of california. Because it has been shown that when govt does something it takes twice as long and costs twice as much.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Many (but not all) satellite services don't work for both way broadband. In fact I investigated one for one of my staff and the two way broadband one she proposed wasn't that expensive.It used to be very pricey, but the prices have come down substantially. James

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

MOST (90%+?) people wouldn't need it to be broadband both ways, would they? [i]However if govt was to take this over it would cost $20 billion for the same small chunk of california. Because it has been shown that when govt does something it takes twice as long and costs twice as much.[/i] Actually, it would probably be about $38 billion if the fed did it :)

Sirgwain
Sirgwain

I hope so, but not without reservations. I live in a rural area where I am fortunate to get a s-l-o-w DSL connection. I am keenly aware that ANYTHING the government says they are going to "provide" or "give" us doe not come without strings! For instance, what is it going to cost us in new taxes? What about affordability and the BIG question: are we going to have to sacrifice our privacy rights and security with Uncle Sam looking over our shoulders? WHO is going to subsidize this and who is going to pay for it? Interesting topic--let's see how this pans out.

jck
jck

I talked to someone a while back that was in Tallahassee a while back (works for local government). The state is blocking university students from torrenting music and getting it from certain sites. But, the person I know said that staff of a state official had ITunes up getting music for their Ipod...which is supposedly a no-no. Oh well...do as I say...not as I do...the standard bearer for those making the rules.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

What the students are doing has been viewed as illegal, assuming they using the torrent to pirate music (a pretty safe assumption). The university is trying to keep from being sued as abetting the students supposed illegal activities. The state official is violating state policy, not a copyright law. I'm not saying that's better, but the legal consequences are completely different.

jck
jck

If a place becomes too hostile that I am impeded from doing my work by others who are supposed to facilitate me doing my job, I just leave. I don't have time for playing games. I'm paid to be there to work, not to be a politico. I can always add more money to my pension account somewhere else, and transfer anything I had at another company. I have nothing to lose in going to another job, other than seniority...and in most non-union jobs, seniority doesn't mean squat anymore.

jck
jck

people were getting paid to stalk and harass you. i'd have sued them for harassment, and tried to get a retirement pension that way. i hate power mongers

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

[i]no one from the IS department was willing to risk their job[/i] As I was under subpoena, I didn't have much choice... but they did try for weeks to "get something" on me... even to the point of standing outside my office with their clock to see if I came in .02 seconds late. They got bored after a few months though.

jck
jck

Well, the guy I knew of wasn't so lucky. He didn't have an insider to help, and besides that no one from the IS department was willing to risk their job and go against management in their decision whether they were right or wrong. It's just sad. It's like the zero tolerance policy for pills in schools. You'd figure if they caught a kid with pills, they could go to the office and have a copy of the PDR there and look the damn pill up or use the internet. Good kids getting kicked out of school for having Advil is just plain stupid.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

[i]but, i have seen people get canned at the local level for surfing to a site with a porn ad on it...but never clicking it.[/i] In fact, after management canned him, he appealed, and at the hearing, I showed them how it could happen and not be the user's fault and the arbitrator gave him his job back... with 8 months back pay. I told management them that if they'd asked me prior to firing the employee (I had no knowledge of any of it until the union rep came to me prior to the hearing), I'd have told them the same thing I told the arbitrator, and they wouldn't have been left looking like idiots. They were pissed at me for awhile after that... but they never made THAT mistake again :)

jck
jck

not the women i meet. they all have porn, but don't like me. :^0

JamesRL
JamesRL

Lots of women don't like porn but have sex.... James

jck
jck

it's called not being biased. see, jd...in your closed little snowy corner of Michigan, you seem to think that..."hey...what I think is right is the way it should be." it's your mentality (one that Bush also had) that makes others shake their head in disbelief (and in the case of international relations had other countries laughing at us because we elected Bush). people generally think someone who has your attitude that a) it's everyone's responsibility to oversee all kids do right, b) my way is the only way, and c) you should accomodate me cause I'm me...to be obtuse...although enough of the time, won't say anything about it. Did I say there should be porn on daytime TV? No. What I said was is that you should not restrict it from cable programming. Besides if you were so offended by nudity and sexual content, you would have been lobbying to have NYPD Blue off the air for multiple times showing side breast shots and Rick Schroeder's ass and sexual situations Yeah...a publically broadcasted network...showed nudity after 10pm. And you did what about that, oh great one of morality? you did JACK $HIT. Call me a hypocrite? At least I want what is decent across the board for children, not just what I think in my world is acceptable. You're welcome to have things your way in Michigan and keep them there. I'll be glad to let you have that and your 10 foot snow drifts and failing car industry. And I'll move get settled somewhere that people believe it's not my government, school, other peoples, or other institutions responsibility to teach my child wrong from right...it's mine. And if they do wrong, it falls on me to take the blame...not the system. And btw...if you're so offended at sexual stuff like regular porn...how did you make two kids? And also...ya know...if someone gets on a computer and goes looking for it...it's something they want to see. you can block ads on websites. so, that's easily solved. kids would be protected, yet adults could go and find anything they found acceptable. QED. just some food for thought

jdclyde
jdclyde

like you care about a lack of decency. The same guy that has said we need porn on daytime tv and was just saying how it should be available in the libraries. That is funny. I laugh. ha. ha ha. ha ha ha ha.

jck
jck

but, i have seen people get canned at the local level for surfing to a site with a porn ad on it...but never clicking it. anyways...pisses me off...it's like teaching kids that...if you get to a high enough position of power...it's ok to bend the rules so you can get what you want. it's like decency in this country has taken a back seat to greed and self-satisfaction.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm not excusing the state official, I'm pointing out he technically isn't breaking civil or criminal law. There's nothing I can do to have him fired.

jck
jck

You guys don't seem to get my point. A college student is doing wrong, and the state puts the stop to him breaking rules. Yet, the employees of the state are not stopped by the state from breaking rules. Hypocrisy. Not sticking to the same standards you set for others morally. Being two-faced. Call it what you want. As I said. Doesn't have to be illegal to be wrong. Nuff said by me, since I am the only one who seems to get the point that everyone (including institutions and governments...not just individuals) should try to do right all the time. Oh well.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Sorry. I made a couple of tapes for myself and never received any. Apparently my crowd was either technologically challenged or ethically unchallenged. As to your university student, he's stealing. If he wants the song, he should pay for it. Better yet, if he's only got $50 to eat, he should get a part-time job. He obviously has the spare time to work one if he's got the time waste downloading and listening to music. I agree the music industry has a flawed business model. That doesn't excuse stealing their legally protected product. A financial inability to purchase something doesn't excuse stealing it.

jck
jck

get out your AM/FM/cassette radio and tape something like Wolfman Jack or just radio broadcast and give it to your buddies to listen to in school? Or take cassettes from your buddies where they taped things off the radio? If not, I am gonna put you in for sainthood. Everyone I know did. And, it's just as illegal as putting on an iPod or Zune or CD or DVD or hard drive...doesn't matter whether you got it off a radio or the internet. Anyways...it wasn't a point of making something illegal that isn't...it was a point of not sticking to rules of conduct in doing right...when you're telling others under your watch to do so. Wrong is wrong...whether it's illegal or not.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I obviously went to university before CDs. But paying for a tune on iTunes, and "stealing" it from bitTorrent are not the same. My student loan officer never gave me money for music. Is not considered an essential. James

jck
jck

from a standpoint of ethics...is it right to tell a kid in college who has $50 a month to eat on that he has to pay $1.50 for a song he wants and can't eat? I can understand if he's downloading all that music...burning and selling copies of it...then go after him. But when he is just getting it to listen to on the PC? Honestly...I hope the music industry chokes itself. There are enough independents out there making good music now. I hope all the big labels sink. I mean hell. If the music industry was so worried about music pirating, why don't they sue CD burning equipment manufacturers? It's just as illegal to store it to a CD as it is to a hard drive. And honestly, you can get the music off a radio station with a digital tuner, and burn it...just like you can from a torrent...and it's free...and legal. Anyways...I can't stomach telling kids to do no wrong, then you don't keep the rules for yourself. like my dad always taught me...sweep your own porch before you complain about someone else's being dirty.

jdclyde
jdclyde

getting broadband to the boonies is pretty low in my list of priorities. Existing infrastructure is painfully outdated, and can actually cost lives. As for broadband, I think we will be seeing more and more of the wireless broadband carriers popping up so they don't have the expense of running cable.

jck
jck

in some areas. my friends in VA and WV have told me that wireless is so short ranged in the mountains, it'd cost a bundle to implement so that you got no weather interference or anything (putting the repeaters close enough together). personally, i think it's probably already available to everyone...it's just not in their home. libraries all pretty much have it nowadays.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

the most efficient method should be used. I think the soon-to-be available space in the TV band could be useful... Satellite-down, landline-up will also work for most people.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

[i]End result horrible.[/i] Dialup? My take: Your choice of where to live does not give you the right to demand the top of the line infrastructure at public expense. If I CHOOSE to live on an island 10 miles out in a lake, do I have the right to demand that a two billion dollar bridge be built?

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

Satellites are characterized by a strict limit on overall bandwidth that cannot be increased much. So they're great for TV channels, etc. where the high bandwidth output will be redistributed on the ground. Or TV shows where sat dish people can pick from a limited menu of TV shows. Just ask people using current satellite internet. HUGE delays (quarter second for uplink and downlink to geo sync sat). Add in delays for waiting till room in queue when busy to broadcast YOUR packets. End result horrible.

jdclyde
jdclyde

If you choose to live in the mountains, you accept the fact that you will not get decent cell coverage, nor will you have access to broadband. Then again, most of the people I know that live in remote areas are to busy out living their lives to sit around in front of a computer. If there is no concern about getting these same people paved roads, city water and sewer systems, and other utilities, why pretend that the internet is any different? Just a little honesty once in a while, would be so refreshing.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Can you believe SOME actually block out porn? Here in Michigan over the last few years, losers have complained that it isn't fair to the poor..... :0 Let the pervs go to 7eleven like they used to! :D

jck
jck

This is the stuff I could find on how Bush was really using the office. ------------------------------ An example of how money was used as part of a growing of a church chain of religious leaders from organizations that supported Bush and who wanted "a check": http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/03/politics/03faith.html Grants flow to Bush allies on social issues: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/21/AR2006032101723.html Bush rewarded with support by Democratic black pastors after giving them funds for "faith-based initiatives": http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jan/18/nation/na-faith18 Former 2nd in command of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives tells story of Bush using Christians for political motives by buying their votes with FBI monies: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15228489/ ----------------------------- So, these people are doing good for the community...with our tax dollars...by...mobilizing political action groups? Or building up their churches? What happened to feeding the poor? Tending to the infirmed? Clothing and housing the needy?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't think I said anything against religion; if I did it was unintentional. I -assume- that means he was addressing jbaviera. Hey, jd, how about including the object's name in the subject line? Thanks!

jck
jck

1) because my quote was: [b][i]The "Separation of Church and State" is based in this country on a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a religious group, in which he stated (in reference to the First Amendment): '...their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.'[/i][/b] so i included it 2) I am not anti-religion...i am anti-religious-control-freaks-keeping-me-from-Playboy-and-making-women-wear-veils zealot types Besides...free exercise thereof means, legally speaking, that you have the right to be free to do or NOT do a religion. Freedom of religion, as interpreted by courts from the local to Federal Supreme Court, is also freedom FROM religion. Therefore, law must also include rights of those without religion as their choice. Of course, they've been bastardizing the principle now for years. Jefferson and Madison both stated clearly government should have no part of religion and vice versa. But oh well...nothing I can do about it. Oh yeah, just wait too about the spending increases. I'm sure when he starts giving to Muslim organizations working in inner cities, Pat Robertson and the like will come out with their speel in a negative fashion. Oh and...P.S.- jdclyde: Why don't you go look at how many muslim faith-based initiatives exist in the poorest areas, and how many of them received funding from the current administration. I bet you'll come to find out...very very very few. And why is that? Probably Bush was having his little office hand pick organizations of HIS faith. Oh but it's okay as long as it's a good Christian man giving to whom he or his staff chooses...right? Talk about amazing religious bigotry.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Why is that part always ignored by the anti-religious? Clearly, government CAN'T restrict the religious content. The ONLY thing they are restricted about is endorsing a state religion. The faith based initiatives [b]which have all passed the Supreme Court anti-religion challenges[/b] have made this clear to all but the oblivious, and Obama has stated he plans to INCREASE the faith based initiatives. It amazes me of your religious bigotry.

jck
jck

The Noble Order of the Brotherhood of the Flying Spaghetti Monster :^0

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"'Values should be taught in the home, not on my tax dollar.' I hole-heartedly agree, but religion MUST be part of it." Why does the teaching of values require religious involvement? Are you saying there can be no values without a religious foundation? Are all religions equally acceptable as a basis for values; Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Wicca, Satanism, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster? If not, what determines which religions are unacceptable?

jck
jck

Not all law exists in the constitution, nor does establishment of process or place of government, in a single doctrine. The "Separation of Church and State" is based in this country on a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a religious group, in which he stated (in reference to the First Amendment): [i][u]'...their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.'[/u][/i] However in U.S. Constitutional Law, "Seperation of Church and State" (or more accurately, separation between religion and government) is defined by two things: The Establishment Clause, and The Free Exercise Clause, which provide together that government should not establish or give preference to one religion. That is the basis of what, under law, keeps government from establishing a religion and religion from becoming the government establishment.

jbaviera
jbaviera

"Are we going to ban religion from public PCs as well? Since there is supposed to be a seperation of the state from any established religion gaining favor?" Can you, or anyone else for that matter, show me where in the U.S. Constitution it states where there is to be this "separation of church and state"? I still haven't found it. I've read from Article I, through Amendment 27. "Values should be taught in the home, not on my tax dollar." I hole-heartedly agree, but religion MUST be part of it.

jdclyde
jdclyde

like to have printed photos to destroy..... :p And instead of a dying media lower their price to get more subscribers, I bet they raised their prices to make up for their shrinking revenue base...... dumbasses...

jck
jck

don't tell everyone...i'll email you my site list later lol :^0

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

BUY porn. porn is free isn't it? Do you mean SOME people actually still pay for it? go figure!

jck
jck

is PC placement and not content. As long as YOU don't have to see it, it's not an issue. I'd suggest you tell your local librarian this and maybe they'll save you and your loved ones from it. :^0 BTW, bad comparison. Donkeyshows (and other acts of bestiality) are illegal. Adult porn is not. BTW, you did not answer my question about human sexuality education. Thanks for just ignoring that.

jdclyde
jdclyde

The computers are out in the open. I don't want to walk by as someone is checking out a donkeyshow. If you had some core values, this idea would not be so foreign to you.

jck
jck

I've actually seen that. small churches where I grew up would use the local public library for that back in the late 90s, especially the Apostolic church. I just see a double standard saying that one type of damaging content is bad, but the other is okay because "God" is used in conjunction with it (even when it's blasphemous). BTW...just a question, jd. Would you restrict children from learning about human sexuality on computers from university's websites? It's not porn, but it has graphic representations of the act of intercourse sometimes. Is education going to be limited too? I'm just curious. And besides...what would an adolescent be doing at a library alone without the oversight of their parent anyways where they would be openly allowed to look for anything they want? That's the root problem. Maybe we should work on that first...parental responsibility.

jck
jck

[i]Oh, and jd's idea of porn is an all-nude remake of "The Sound of Music".[/i] That does sound kinda hot...good call, jd! ]:)

jdclyde
jdclyde

But I have to admit, when I go to the library and walk by the kids on the computer, I don't recall ever seeing them on religious web sites, so you can sleep at night. As for marrying 14 year olds, you do know in the middle east, they like them even younger, legally? As for people that have more than one wife, the punishment for bigamy is two mother-in-laws..... :0

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Why pay for it when there's so much of it available for free? I'm positive that's what jd meant. Oh, and jd's idea of porn is an all-nude remake of "The Sound of Music".

jck
jck

and you have no right to free access to internet religion. either pay for cable/satellite, or get off your ass and go to church. btw...don't preach to me about paying for it, when you just said you haven't paid for it in so long you can't remember when...porn thief!!! i'm gonna tell Jenna Jameson on you...then invite her over to my place :^0 Personally, I think library internet connections should either be: a) totally open access or b) menu driven with links to only particular sites (i have seen one county government i worked for do that...having vendors provide them with specialized sites at little/no charge) I prefer option B. But, I don't think you totally restrict access to one segment of society, while giving open access to another. And, religion can be as damaging to children as porn mentally. A lot of religion preaching out there tends to put into the mind of children that things are black and white in this world and gives them confused morality and little direction other than to follow the word of one preacher or denomination who thinks they are the proverbial "mouth of God". So, I think if there is video out there (like porn) that can be labelled as "damaging" to a child...then...religion should be treated the same as well, since some religious programming teaches diluted senses of reality, morality, and twisted interpretation of the religion itself. And if you don't think that's right: Heaven's Gate Cult Benny Hinn (saying how broke he is, yet wearing a $20,000 watch) Swaggart Tilton Bakker Wesley Jones Al-Qaeda Bin Laden Wright that group in Texas that has 50 year old men marrying 14 year old girls tell me those religious people aren't twisted and preaching a blasphemous version of their beliefs? don't think kids can develop a twisted sense of things from those kooks?

jdclyde
jdclyde

you are talking again, but not saying anything. You will find yourself in the decedent minority of bottom dwellers if you think surfing porn in libraries should be allowed. You do not have a RIGHT to free porn, and neither does anyone else. Just like any other product, if you want it, get a friggen job so you can buy it.

jck
jck

Did you just imply that you get it but don't pay for it?????? :^0 BTW...I find hypocritical religious types abhorent and offensive, since they slander and misuse the name of God. Are we going to ban religion from public PCs as well? Since there is supposed to be a seperation of the state from any established religion gaining favor? I think we should. Values should be taught in the home, not on my tax dollar.

jdclyde
jdclyde

If you have your own computer and are in your own home, look at whatever you want. No public or government funds should be wasted to bring you or anyone else your porn. Just like libraries do not carry playboys, no porn on the computers. No, I don't get playboy. I DO have my own computer and go to my own home. B-) Hmm, I don't remember the last time I actually BOUGHT porn.

jck
jck

bad bad internet... ya know...if you don't want your kid seeing naked girls, you don't subscribe to Playboy...do ya? The internet is an open service just like cable. And just like Cable, you have the means to block out content you feel improper for your household and values. However since it's not ILLEGAL, you have no right to tell someone else they can't enjoy it. Next thing you know, you're gonna mandate all women are only yours and start saying it like "ALL YOUR WOMEN THEY ARE BELONG TO US" :^0 Let the bible bangers go to church like they used to. :D