Will Obama administration usher in universal broadband access?

December 9, 2008, 8:33 AM PST | Length: 186


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.

15 comments
Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

As long as you don't mind narrow, slow, and not everybody having it. ROFL

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't see any reason to treat this differently from electricity or water. Those aren't run by the federal government, only licensed at the local level. I'd rather the federal government concentrate on more critical infrastructure (bridges, port security, a coherent energy policy).

jck
jck

The government doesn't run them, but they do regulate how they operate. They're essentially like a 2nd board of directors. BTW...speaking of port security...have you seen the graph on wikipedia about what things got big budget cuts between FY 06 and FY 07? Dept of Education Department of Homeland Security Scary, eh? We can increase welfare and building bombs, but can't educate our kids and secure our borders right. Sad sad sad.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

We worry too much about airports. One day someone will ram an LNG tanker in NY harbor and we'll learn airplanes aren't even Tinkertoys (tm). We check barely one container out of a hundred; "Hello, anthrax." Education? As long as people insist on determining educational standards at the local community level, and measuring it differently from state to state, we will be unable to compete on an international basis. Regardless, there are more important issues for the federal government to be concerned with. How about access to uncontaminated food and water? There's nothing useful on the Internet that a home user can't access satisfactorily via dial-up, especially if the browser has graphics and ads disabled. I speak from experience; I was using dial-up at home as recently as six months ago. Access to entertainment is no reason for government mandates at the federal level.

RT (Panzer Time!)
RT (Panzer Time!)

I'm trying to remember what Bill Gates said in The Road Ahead. I think he said that government regulation was the wrong way to go about these things. Really, this whole "broadband for all" is a bunch of populist nonsense. It's just "a chicken in every pot" all over again. Not everyone ought to have a chicken, nor should everyone have broadband. It's a buzzwordy thing that gets youngsters who don't know anything and farmers who live on subsidies to vote for particular people.

santeewelding
santeewelding

The way it used to be, as opposed to continental, wherein any universally agreed-upon defect goes undetected? You make large sense, Palmetto, in many things, but here you turn a knob on a door opening to furies.

jck
jck

Of course, port security would see a tanker coming in and know it was rogue and they could disable it before they hit anything. I'm more worried about things that are mass danger issues. Like, they have all sorts of requirements for security at nuclear power plants, but most water pumping plants have little or no security. A really crafty person could get into a facility, disable the decontamination units, and put mass amounts of biotoxin into the system...and in most places, effect (and maybe kill) 100,000s of people. It's a really sad thing. As well as with education, I think we need an individual standard. And, it needs to be ubiquitous. No more of this "that SAT test asks a question unfair to this young person". Everyone can read learn to read in public school. Everyone can go to a library and read for free. No excuses not to learn. However, I think that with the current technology that broadband is basically the new dialup. I don't think by any means that all people should have 8Mb/s in their home like I do. However for them to have 256k down/128k up...would be doable and within reason. Heck, they almost do that over telephone now. So what's the difference whether they accomplish that over the phone line...or via BPL (broadband over power lines)? I really think it's doable, and would help in many ways. I just think that people should have to go out and get their own computer before they qualify to get it. Show some initiative and earn something.

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

But where is the skip this content link? Don't get me wrong, I love TR, but when I click on a link within TR I do expect TR content. If I wanted an advertisement I know where to click for that. No offense, but that is just wrong. Just me, but I do believe there should be a skip this content button. Just a thought. MJ

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I didn't get an ad. I opened the link to the original article and went straight into the video. Maybe I'm special?

boxfiddler
boxfiddler moderator

Bad enough we had to sit through it for TROLOV, now we have to sit through it for speculation on what the new Prez will do. Not.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

I look at the ad, and I can't help but come up with ideas for a great crossover. Jennifer Love Hewitt is talking to the ghost of a promising acting career gone awry due to conceit. It leads her to Miami, where she meets up with David Caruso. He admits to killing his career, and continuous butchery of dialog. Dexter springs into action, and takes them both out; Caruso for his admitted acts, and because Dexter still remembers what JLH did one summer!!! :)

jck
jck

Jennifer Love Hewitt...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ]:)

boxfiddler
boxfiddler moderator

We don' need no steenkeen fun! :D

pranavb99
pranavb99

This is ludicrous. The US ranks very well when compared with other countries whose populations are as dispersed. What is the government going to do? Run a broadband business to spread high speed internet to all rural populations? Haven't we given the government enough power? Its launched wars around the world, created a massive debt ($53 trillion in unfunded liabilities), indiscriminately printed dollars and destroyed its value, permanently stationed troops in 73 countries around the world in contravention of the Constitution, etc.? Its time to stop manufacturing crises and then calling for government intervention.