Posts Taged network-neutrality

Don’t Slow Down Broadband Adoption Just for Spite

This post originally appeared on the huffingtonpost.

Now that the midterm elections are over I’ve been reading all the reactions from voters and have noticed a trend. A lot of people have openly admitted that they voted for a candidate that opposes President Obama’s policies just to send a message; also admitting that candidate was less qualified and that they essentially did it for spite. Once that really started to sink in, I thought about how damaging that kind of mentality is to everyone.

I started to think about my world of technology and broadband and started to wonder if spite was the motivation of certain people pushing Net Neutrality regulations. They say that they are trying to “Save the Internet,” but whenever they are asked what danger the Internet is in, they jump to talk about how the telecoms make too much profit and how they need to be regulated, all while not being able to point to one single issue that shows their claims are credible. None of their reasons sound like they are trying to “save” the Internet at all. Instead of giving the consumer real information and data by which to make informed decisions, they feed on their emotions and fears with phrases like “it’s a civil rights issue” and “don’t let them control your internet.”

What is truly spiteful is when you hear the FCC say “We need to partner with the corporate world to deliver on the National Broadband Plan in order to get high speed Internet access to everyone.” And then you purposely conduct activates to take attention away from working towards that goal. Who are you hurting? The Government? The Telcos? No! You are hurting the very people who you say you’re trying to “save” the Internet for, misleading them to believe that your plan will work out better in the end. Good plan. And when a large group of us get left behind in this broadband revolution you won’t be there to help them because you will have achieved your goal. If that is not spiteful, I don’t know what is.

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Put the Politics Aside And Get To The Business of Broadband

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post

Elections, the economy, and everybody is up in arms. With Nov. 2 right around the corner, I can’t help but think about how much political capital has been exhausted on the issues of net neutrality and Title II reclassification over the past few months. Though the future of the Internet — and the implementation of the National Broadband Plan — undergird our efforts at economic recovery and increased global competitiveness, those “two magic words” have seemed to steer us off course from our primary intentions because of their politically charged nature, and uber-divisive implications.

In 2008, then-Candidate Obama was vying for my vote as the next President of the United States. It was one of the first times that the ever-elusive, ever troublesome phrase “net neutrality” became a colloquial part of the modern lexicon, and the rest, as they say, is history.

For nearly two years, for those of us who live our lives online, this issue of how Internet regulations would be framed going forward has consumed far more energy than most of us would care to admit. In some cases, business partnerships have been splintered, friendships have been broken, and partisan and ideological lines have been drawn, crossed and broken. And for what? We’re still living under the same regime that we’ve always had, the Internet is not broken, the sky has not fallen, the only difference is, we’re all a lot angrier. What’s all the fuss been about? Has it done us any good? I don’t know, but it’s sure made for a good hot button issue during a contentious election year.

Last week, with the critical midterm elections looming on the horizon, I found hope above the mire of the net neutrality fray in two filings made before the FCC in its Open Internet proceeding. One filing was by the National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs (NAMDE), the new trade association for people who produce content, applications, infrastructure and a variety of other business models online. The other was by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC), joined by 25 other national organizations, including NAMDE.

At a time that is so critical to the future of our country, these filings made the critical point that the politics of broadband can and should be checked at the door as we collaborate to close the digital divide. Two points were abundantly clear in those filings. First, we all believe in and aspire to preserve the open Internet. It’s what our culture thrives on and, frankly, it’s what we’re all actually fighting for, though we may at times disagree over how to accomplish it. Second, in striving to protect the Internet we all know and love, we do not want to thwart the prospects of success for those who have historically been disadvantaged in business and economic development – women, people of color, members of low-income communities. The longer any among us stays disenfranchised, the longer and more severely we will all suffer.

That’s really what this is all about isn’t it? Creating opportunity and paving a better path forward for all Americans generally, and the traditionally disadvantaged specifically?

If you put all the self-interested rhetoric and snarky banter aside, I think that’s what it all boils down to. Though a counter-culture insurgence is brewing below America’s surface, why can’t we take a moment to pause and focus on creating universal opportunity for all Americans, eliminating the digital divide that currently exists along social and economic lines in our country, and helping all our people learn how to harness the power of the Internet to transform their lives? It should be both our duty and our privilege to move past anger and aggression and coalesce around the creation of meaningful opportunities that benefit us all.

It’s time to put the politics aside, and get down to the business of broadband.

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1,800 Days Is Not As Far Away As You Think

Five years seem like a long time away, especially in days when everyone seems to be focused on the next election (which is a really important one), or the next football game, or a favorite TV program  (I’ll confess, I’m waiting for the next episode of “Lie To Me.”)   But we better start acting like it is approaching quickly. Think about how as all those events come and go, how much we call, search, text, and tweet about them over our mobile devices. It’s become a part of everything we do and how we experience those big events in the world.

Thankfully, the Federal Communications Commission recgonizes that fact, and the FCC’s new study  wants makes sure everyone understands the risks of ignoring  that growth and the issues as well as the societal and economic benefits of ensuring that communication can continue to flourish and there is enough wireless spectrum available. They also show some ideas on how to achieve success.

Consider this: Estimates are, in about 1,800 days it is likely that mobile data demand will exhaust spectrum resources.  The new report estimates that mobile broadband traffic will increase by 35 times the amount of recent levels. Spectrum is the “oxygen of our mobile communications infrastructure,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said.  The value of this exploding spectrum market is about $120 billion in the next five years.

These are the topics that I want to see get more attention. We need to focus on the things that will have a real affect on our future. Spending time on things such as Net Neutrality, keeps their focus away from issues like this that will clearly effect our future –  because 1800 days will pass before you know it!

The full FCCstudy can be found at:
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Patience is a virtue

The FCC seems to have realized this in seeking more public comment on the complex issue of Net Neutrality. And that is a smart decision for at least three reasons.

First, there is no reason for urgency. Nothing is broken, and the issue primarily is being stirred by people who say they fear what might happen in the future. Fear is a terrible foundation for decision making, especially when the decision is so important.

Second, the process continues to move forward. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and its best to pursue those in a deliberative, respectful climate. Pausing, turning the decibel level down, then moving ahead is a good commonsense approach.

Finally, it increases the hope of a consensus. It gets us past the mindset that there will be winners and losers, when we will all benefit from an open internet that is protected from abuse but done so in a way that doesn’t risk continued growth and adoption. Anyone who really cares about the future impact the Internet will have on our society can see that investing in more time to ensure clarity is worth the investment and that the opportunity is too great to do it any other way.

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Interview on Technlogy, Internet Adoption and How Minorities Can Take Advantage

Recently I was interviewed on WUF1080am. We talked about a few topics: Technology, Internet adoption, How we get more minorities to take advantage of broadband, and Net Neutrality. Turned into a great conversation. Give it a listen.

Navarrow Wright on WUFO from Navarrow Wright on Vimeo.

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