Monday, August 11, 2014

Technical Difficulties

It's about to get very real up in here. We're about to reveal why we're posting this instead of the usual Monday morning policy dig.

We had technical difficulties again. This time, we were roaming all around the neighborhood in search of a stable LTE signal. We had to keep roaming because the signal would constantly drop.

Obviously, we became very furious very fast. Why is this happening to us? Why is it so hard to find fast internet? Why is American internet so damned slow?

Susan Crawford on Why US Internet Access is Slow, Costly, and Unfair from on Vimeo

There are so many policy FAILs here that it's hard to keep track of all of them. Federal regulation of the telecom industry has not kept up with technological innovation. Internet service providers (ISPs) are increasingly prioritizing price gouging over improving their networks. And the giant telecom corporations are pressuring the federal government to give them even more leeway to limit consumers' internet speed and create "online toll roads" for content providers.

So why is the internet so much faster in other developed nations? Unlike America, they fully regulate the telecom industry. And unlike America, they've been investing in developing state-of-the-art fiber networks that deliver blazing fast speed.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering changing the definition of "broadband internet" to prod the telecom companies to fix their dilapidated, slow networks. While this may be a promising start, so much more is needed to fix these technical difficulties. We need hard commitments to real infrastructure investment to update our outdated internet connections. And we need real net neutrality to guarantee fair play and high speed for all.

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) has endorsed a strong net neutrality standard, and so has President Obama. But now, it's up to the FCC to decide new net neutrality standards. And ultimately, it's up to us to urge Congress and/or the telecom companies themselves to finally bring our communications infrastructure into the 21st century and bring these obnoxious technical difficulties to an end.

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