America Needs a Fiber-Based National Broadband Policy Now
By Jim Baller and Casey Lide, the Baller Herbst Law Group
In his latest album, Modern Times, Bob Dylan paints a troubling picture of what may lie ahead for the United States. In a track called “Workingman’s Blues #2,” Dylan sings of the diminishing buying power of American workers; of low wages becoming a reality in the face of brutal competition from abroad; of our inability to give away, let alone to sell, what we have to offer; of hunger creeping into our bellies; and of our fear of sinking into lives of continual crime.
“The place I love best is a sweet memory,” Dylan laments, “It’s a nude path, that we trod.” Dylan urges each of us to choose: “You can hang back or fight your best on the front lines, singin’ a little bit of these workingman blues.”
Are Dylan’s concerns overstated? Are they premature? We think not. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the details of President Bush’s broadband policies, most of us would surely agree with his observation in his most recent State of the Union address that America’s ability to remain competitive in the “dynamic world economy” is at risk. Noting the rapid emergence of competition from India, China, and other countries, he challenged America to take the dramatic steps necessary to ensure that we will continue to occupy the position of global leadership to which we have become accustomed.
In this paper, we discuss the critical importance of an aggressive national broadband policy that emphasizes the development of high-bandwidth communications systems, particularly FTTH systems. The stakes for America are huge. It is a fight from which we cannot hang back but must give our best on the front lines.Read More (PDF)