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September 25, 2009

Broadband. Trust them.

At last, that brave band of oppressed companies who have been granted near-monopolies to deliver over-priced, under-performing broadband to the entire USA (exempting the parts they don’t find particularly profitable) have managed to scrape together an organization to give voice to their position. BroadbandForAmerica.com is finally going to air their views about why de-regulated near monopolies are the best and only way to bring affordable, open Internet to everyone in the country — views that until now have gone unheard, except from their hundreds and hundreds of lobbyists. Why, the industry could barely put together a mere $765,000 to send to John McCain’s campaign!

The site itself seems innocuous. Their history of the Internet nods in some appropriate directions, including to Al Gore and to students who have innovated on the Net. (It oddly leaves out Tim Berners-Lee.) Of course, it’s actually a paean to private industry that cleverly equates the role of creative individuals who have contributed mightily for free and the incumbent infrastructure providers whose financial incentives lead them to prefer to tilt the field against cash-starved start-ups. The closest the organization comes to stating its actual intent is in the wording of the print ad they’re running. Hmm. On the open medium of the Internet the organization hides its purpose, but in the controlled medium of print, they come close to stating it. How unexpected!

So, welcome to the Web, BroadbandForAmerica. Now — after your long list of rules of discussion, followed by a forum that is only soliciting happy stories — how about engaging in some honest, forthright discussion?


[Later that day:] Here’s a New Yorker interview with Julius Genachowski about Net Neutrality.

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August 19, 2008

Those lobbyists sure like to have a good time!

The Sunlight Foundation‘s new site, Political Party Time, tracks the hundreds of parties being thrown at the two political conventions by fun-loving groups who are merely interested in celebrating democracy, folks such as the RIAA, AT&T, USTelecom, and Bank of America. [Tags: ]

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