BROADBAND….President Bush, March 2004:
This country needs a national goal for broadband technology, for the spread of broadband technology. We ought to have a universal, affordable access for broadband technology by the year 2007.
Yeah, cheap universal broadband would be great. So whatever happened to that? Robert McChesney and John Podesta told the story last year in the Monthly:
[Bush and FCC chairman Kevin Martin] have made no progress toward these goals; in fact, they have rewarded their corporate cronies for maintaining high prices, low speeds and lackluster innovation. Federal policies have not merely failed to correct our broadband problems, they have made them worse. Instead of encouraging competition, the FCC has allowed DSL providers and cable companies to shut out competitors by denying access to their lines. And whereas the Japanese government encourages individual towns to set up their own “Community Internet,” Washington has done nothing. Fourteen states in the United States now have laws on the books restricting cities and towns from building their own high-speed Internet networks. No wonder America is falling behind its Asian competitors.
Huh. Imagine that. The incumbent captains of industry didn’t like the idea of cheap broadband so the White House decided not to do anything about it. Shocking, isn’t it?