How Much Have Americans Really Paid For Inferior Broadband Access?

Despite the obstacles erected by big business interests, I remain excited about the promise of cheap wireless Internet access via city-funded WiFi networks. Unfortunately, cheap is relative, considering Americans may have already paid through the nose to the tune of $200 billion for promised upgrades to existing broadband infrastructures that never happened.

That's the essence of a new e-book, The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal, written by Bruce Kushnick (a telecom analyst for nearly a quarter-century), outlining the scam job that allowed the Baby Bells to push for tax concessions and other financial perks at the state level. In return, customers got higher phone bills and nothing else in return, and certainly not robust broadband networks.

Besides detailing how the Baby Bells exerted pressure on state regulatory agencies to loosen up their purse strings, Kushnick paints an alarming portrait of America's digital future. One in which Japan and Korea are now taking the lead in the digital world in terms of innovation because greedy American telephony executives were too busy lining their own pockets with cash and fattening up their stock prices at the expense of America's financial health, squandering the future of our children for thicker wallets.

Sounds much like the shell game drug companies play in recycling "new and improved versions" of older drugs just to maintain patents on their health-harming products and keep that steady flow of cash coming.

MuniWireless.com February 1, 2006

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