Thursday, June 26, 2008 By Aaron Brown
And, though I sometimes feel alone in this call, I'm not alone. Today Timothy Karr blogs about a national push for broadband across the social spectrum on the Huffington Post. He says that what I'm talking about can only happen if the industry, the government and people like us, on the ground in underrepresented internet areas, get together. This is part of a wider movement. And people are most important of all because they elect the government, which can push the industry.
Closing the broadband digital divide should have been a real national priority for the past eight years. We can't afford NOT to make it a priority for the next eight. While our status as world technology leader went into free fall, Congress sat on the sidelines and the White House ducked and dodged.
There's a reason for that. Getting everyone connected is a political issue at its core. The policy process has been dominated thus far by the broadband incumbents and their well-heeled lobbyists. These companies prefer our lagging Internet status quo to public involvement, choice and real innovation.
And the community that uses the Internet is only now beginning to get organized to guide the debates that will shape its future. We clearly need to do more organizing with the tens of millions of people in communities that can't access the Web.
Getting us back on top will require a national broadband framework that is supported by those beyond the Beltway - who stand to gain the most from a national broadband agenda that promotes access, choice, openness and innovation. And we need bold leadership willing to reject the conventional political wisdom and explore real solutions.
So, where's our bold leadership? I'm just a simple country blogger. I can't do this by myself.