A pragmatic, visionary perspective —–
There is a call by President Obama to the FCC to lift the restrictions in 19 states on municipal broadband endeavors. This is important to the regional viability and sustainability of all communities – big and small.
AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), COMCAST (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and other incumbent phone companies lobbied hard to get restrictions passed in these states in order to stifle competition, limit new entrants and capital expenditures for updating network infrastructure, and protect their cash cows.
We cannot afford to protect a few corporations’ profits if the end-result is the weakening of the overall national economy because our infrastructure, or global Platform for Commerce, is kept sub-standard compared to other economic regions around the world. We need to look beyond protecting some corporations’ profits, and focus on all cities and regions remaining viable in a global marketplace.
As I have pointed out in previous articles about network infrastructure:
In some parts of the United States, there is a multi-level government concern for regional sustainability and job growth. This has created a new unity in some places in community development between municipalities, counties and the developers of business and industrial parks.
The importance of being in the right location now includes being connected at a high-speed access point to communicate with global customers, clients and suppliers.
In other parts of the country, there has been a concerted effort to restrict and ban this type of development of high-speed networks by municipalities and others in order to preserve and maintain corporate profits for some of the incumbent phone and cable companies.
We must acknowledge that:
• Municipalities are looking for economic survival.
• Competition is good. It sparks capital spending.
• AT&T, Verizon, COMCAST, and others need to invest or get out of the way on building out new Network Infrastructure.
• Regional viability and economic sustainability are more important than individual corporations protecting profits.
• Economic Development Equals Broadband Connectivity and Broadband Connectivity Equals Jobs.
As I have said over and over again at conferences, “Just like locations were important for centuries based on their proximity to good transportation, seaports and roads, they now must also be adjacent to high-speed information highways and have both wired and wireless network infrastructures that tie buildings and communities together.”
Local network infrastructure has to be upgraded in order for communities to attract and maintain corporate facilities. Having broadband connectivity (multi-gigabit speeds) is key to:
– satisfying corporate site selection committees who are looking for new locations to build corporate facilities.
– regional sustainability (job creation)
– guaranteeing viability to the local economy
This was pointed out in my white paper written for the US Department of Homeland Security and presented at Columbia University in New York in 2009. (See page 7 of the CIP Report – cip.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/C… )
A small city or town cannot be at the mercy of the phone company to upgrade its local network infrastructure. It needs to be competitive in order to attract and maintain corporate facilities. The more capital investment in network infrastructure, the more competitive and viable a region becomes, especially from a global perspective.
We need the best network infrastructure in place everywhere in order to compete in today’s and tomorrow’s global marketplace.
CARLINI-ISM: Network infrastructure is a national economic security issue. It cannot be undermined by the passage of restrictive legislation to protect the revenue streams of a couple of companies unwilling to make the capital investments they need to make in order for all regions to remain viable.
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Copyright 2015 – James Carlini