When it comes to broadband, I’m a socialist. Why? Because broadband service in the United States is currently provided by a cableco/telco duopoly, and, as such, is slower and more expensive than in most of the developed world, studies show. Because I don't believe the FCC can fix that lack of competition within the current regulatory framework, despite the ambitious goals set forth in its National Broadband Plan. Because a reasonably-priced alternative to cable or telco broadband might be just the thing to bring competition to the industry and spur U.S. broadband cost and quality to world-class levels. Because our connectedness increasingly dictates our our economic standing in the world: Broadband is as important to us as the interstate highway system--a public works project--was to Eisenhower-era America.
The Daily Show on FCC Commissioner's Comcastic Retirement
The Daily Show joined many others in being outraged at FCC Commissioner Baker leaving the FCC to work for Comcast-NBC a few months after approving the deal. That subject is toward the end of this four minute clip:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Well, That Was Fast - Comcast/NBC Merger|
I would be seriously surprised if investigations turned up any quid pro quo in this situation. The real problem is the revolving door in Washington, DC. I doubt that Commissioner Baker knew she would go to work for Comcast specifically after leaving the FCC, but you can be damn sure she knew she would eventually make a lot of money working for one of the large corporate interests on whose behalf she tended to advocate while on the FCC.
There are very real reasons why many people have lost faith in the idea government. The actions of people like Commissioner Baker are a significant part of it. Free Press is drawing attention to this matter and has warned against the revolving door for years.
Whether people will be sufficiently outraged to force a real change in DC remains to be seen but seems unlikely. This is yet another reason we seek and promote ways for communities to build their own networks -- communities that own the networks on which they depend are less reliant on policymakers in DC "getting it right." Local governments are far more accountable to constituents.
So while we try to fix DC, let's remember why more decisions should be made locally.