This is a potentially tragic turning point in American politics and policy. We are on the verge of turning over the internet – the most important communications system ever invented– to telecoms that grew huge through the government granting them monopoly status. Barring a genuine shift in policy or a court stepping in to ensure fair treatment of captive customers – or better yet, genuine competition – companies like Verizon and Comcast will have staggering power to decide what bits of information reach your devices and mine, in what order and at what speed. That is, assuming we're permitted to get that information at all.
Do we want an open internet? Do we want digital innovation and free speech to thrive? If we continue down the regulatory road pursued by the former cable and wireless industry lobbyist [and FCC chair] Tom Wheeler, all of those good things will be in serious jeopardy.
More here: Why You Should Care.
Worse, when Dan says "the telecom cartel has frantically worked to get state legislatures to prevent [communiity broadband networks] from existing," well, that frantic work was effective in North Carolina. Our econ dev and political leadership in GSO missed an opportunity to build out some rare and important infrastructure while they could.
But we are where we are. And where we are looks somewhat better than it did just few days ago, because we are maybe in line for some serious broadband service from AT&T (caveat: "Before anyone gets too excited, AT&T isn't promising that it will actually build in any or all of these cities.")
And AT&T is making nice noises about competition with the cable giants. So, good.
If it happens.