This seems to be a week of stories about the need for better broadband access in the United States. Yesterday, we noted the new report from the state of California. Today, we find a story in The Economist and a new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
- Open up those highways, From The Economist print edition, Jan 17th 2008.
- Municipal Broadband: Demystifying Wireless and Fiber-Optic Options, by Christopher Mitchell. (See also: press release.)
From The Economist:
What accounts for the differences among rich countries? Two or three years ago demography was often cited: small, densely populated countries were easier to wire up than big, sparsely inhabited ones. But the leaders in broadband usage include Canada, where a tiny population is spread over a vast area. The best explanation, in fact, is that broadband thrives on a mix of competition and active regulation, to ensure an open contest.
From the ILSR press release:
The United States, creator of the Internet, increasingly lags in high-speed access to it. In the absence of a national broadband strategy, hundreds of communities have invested in broadband infrastructure to solve their problem locally. A new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) explores this essential infrastructure and the options now available to communities.
The ILSR Report contends that DSL and cable networks fail to offer the speeds and capacity necessary for the digital future.
"As broadband has gone from convenience to necessity, communities can no longer rely on private providers to satisfy their broadband needs," explains Christopher Mitchell, author of the study and Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative for ILSR.
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