Sunday, May 08, 2005

Broadband and Government

Redwood Acres held a technology fair and forum over the weekend. What caught my eye was a speaker at the forum, Ben De Hoyo, claiming that government needed to get involved in developing the infrastructure for everyone to have access to broadband connections because private industry couldn't be relied upon. Excuse me??? Seems to me most, if not all, of the technological advances in communications and the internet were developed and converted to widespread use by private industry.

Another speaker, Susan Estrada, was a little more on track. She said, in part, "Both our national and state regulatory structures are obsolete and stifle innovation…". Exactly. Government generally just taxes and regulates things. How is that going to help spread broadband technology or improve your own use of the internet?

I really wonder about this hyping of broadband, anyway. Sure, broadband’s great but it’s no panacea for economic growth. It might well enable new and diversified businesses to operate in Humboldt County but it might well take some away. Take a look at all the jobs in the country being outsourced to India, for example.

Broadband’s great but let’s not overly hype it and let's keep government’s paws off it.


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