Whether they are Wi-Fi kiosks, urban sensors, fiber networks, or built-from-scratch “smart” neighborhoods, new urban technology deployments are under the microscope. Despite the potential of these projects to drive innovation and economic growth, they are often met with mixed reception and a myriad of justifiable questions. Take the Quayside project in Toronto led by Sidewalk Labs.
After Gov Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed California's net neutrality legislation into law AND the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state of California, a number of policymakers and advocates responded:
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA): “The enactment of California’s net neutrality law is a huge victory for the free and open internet. California has shown Washington and the rest of the country that the internet warriors fighting to save net neutrality will not be stopped."
Addressing community challenges – education, a strong economy, race, and social equity – means that every community institution needs to be part of the solution. And mayors and elected county officials are wise to understand one institution – the public library – brings a unique mix of assets to the table:
Touch: Pew Research data shows that 80 percent of Americans have been to a public library at some point in a given year – either in-person or online.
Among the hundreds of people waiting to visit Mahatma Gandhi one day was a mother who sought help in battling her son’s obsession with eating sugar. When it was their turn in line, instead of immediately counseling the boy, Gandhi asked the pair to come back in two weeks. Following a two-hour wait on the day of their return, the anxious mother repeated her request. Gandhi promptly spoke with her son and the boy agreed to work on breaking his sugar fixation.
The Coalition for Local Internet Choice and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors asked for my view of the Federal Communications Commission’s pending order, proposing to cap the fees that state and local governments may charge for small-cell attachments. According to the FCC’s draft order, these price‐caps will save the industry $2 billion in costs to operate in metropolitan areas—which will translate into $2.5 billion in new wireless investment, primarily in rural areas. Here are my concerns:
How can we solve the rural broadband digital divide? On September 6, the Broadband Connects America (a new coalition which includes the Benton Foundation) offered a set of principles for attacking the problem. With countless federal, state, and local projects underway, if there's any telecom policy consensus these days, it is on this: we need better broadband data.
I trust that the people of this country have not so lost their love of truth that they would allow their leaders to vilify our brothers and sisters who seek out and report on the truth so that we can aptly practice our democracy. Who can argue with the importance of a free press to our nation, our democracy, our liberty? And who would try to turn the people against our own tool for holding government accountable? That is the work of tyrants – and tyrants are the true enemy of the people.
Sohn set out recommendations to ensure that the Internet is accessible and affordable and that broadband Internet access service (BIAS) providers and online platforms are transparent about how they conduct their businesses. Affordable access to the Internet is rarely discussed in conversations about Internet openness. An open network is of limited value, however, if significant numbers of people cannot access it for cost or other reasons. In the United States, fully twenty percent of Americans are not connected to BIAS.
In my previous post, I highlighted four reasons why the U.S needs a unified policy framework for an open Internet ecosystem: 1) lack of competition/incentive and the ability to discriminate; 2) collection of and control over personal data; 3) lack of transparency; and 4) inadequacy of current laws and enforcement. Many of these problems can be addressed with targeted legislative and regulatory interventions.