Editorial

In Maine and nationwide, high broadband cost is part of the digital divide

The Biden administration rolled out the Affordable Connectivity Program to help low-income people pay for service. The federal government should not stop with this subsidy program when it addresses the affordability component of the digital divide. Internet service providers (ISPs) will get a lot of new customers as the government pays to extend service to areas that have not been worth serving when the companies were stringing the wires, and it would be a shame if the businesses were allowed to use their near-monopolies to drive up prices for everyone else.

The Declaration for the Future of the Internet Is an Invitation for the EU to Dictate Global Policy

The Biden Administration’s newly launched Declaration for the Future of the Internet is too ambitious. There is no need to focus on what are mostly domestic Internet policy issues, where nations are likely to have differing approaches. This includes data privacy—an issue that is best dealt with the national government level, lest the stronger regulator (the European Union) succeed in imposing its innovation-limiting privacy regime on the rest of the free world.

Former Sen. Heitkamp’s Attacks on Gigi Sohn for FCC are Wildly Off-Base

Gigi Sohn is still up for confirmation by the Senate to complete the Federal Communications Commission. I’ve known Gigi for many years and respected her from the first time I saw her in action. She isn’t a political agent trying to figure out the best path to the top. She has strong beliefs, and she’ll tell you what they are in a wonderful Long Island blur of passion. She respects other beliefs and ideas but she isn’t going to pretend she agrees with you when she doesn’t.

Happy Belated Birthday, Andrew Jay Schwartzman

At our 40th Anniversary celebration on April 6, we were delighted to honor Andrew Jay Schwartzman and celebrate his 75th birthday.

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Headlines

As we celebrate the Benton Institute’s 40 years of impact, I'd like to take a moment to recognize one name that is a constant—a name that has become synonymous with Benton.

Make Room at the Table

As the work of connecting everyone through broadband moves from the federal to the state level, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Broadband Access Initiative has now emerged as one of the central catalysts accelerating promising state efforts. Pew has been partnering with state governments for years to implement evidence-based solutions but is now taking it to a whole new level to deliver even more broadband progress thanks to the foresight and leadership of Kathryn de Wit.

Don't Let the Smear Machine Stop the Gears of a Fully Functional FCC

The New Yorker recently published a piece about the work of the American Accountability Foundation (A.A.F.) — a dark-money group aiming to sabotage the Biden administration’s agenda by torpedoing the confirmation of nominees to fill critical roles across the government. The group brags about having stopped the confirmation of nominees like Saule Omarova, Biden’s pick to be comptroller of the currency, and Sarah Bloom Raskin, who the pr

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will fail if we don’t address worker and supply shortages

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) has made money for broadband and other infrastructure much less scarce than it normally is. Unfortunately, the real resources—labor and equipment—appear to be far scarcer than they normally are. Even with the additional money, the IIJA will not succeed if these constraints on real resources are not addressed. The only real-time solution is to waive the “buy American” rules on equipment and encourage more immigration to help ease the labor shortage.

When Government Impedes Fiber Construction

It always perplexes me at a time when solving rural broadband is a top priority that governments still create policies that are huge barriers to fiber construction. The newest story comes from the State Department of Transportation in New York (NYDOT). The agency has a permitting process that is adding tons of costs to fiber projects – including fiber projects that were funded by State broadband grants. The NYDOT requires an expensive process to get onto a pole located in State rights-of-way.

David Lazarus' final column

I’ve worked for newspapers since I was a student at UC Berkeley, including stints at the San Francisco Examiner, the Bangkok Post, the Japan Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and now the biggest newsroom west of the Mississippi. This is my final column for the Los Angeles Times; I’ll be moving into television full-time. There’s no need for me to point out the precarious state of the newspaper business. This industry is now very different from the one I fell in love with in college.