Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Increasing Internet speeds for innovation, education, and the economy

Please Vote: has a new feature called Citizen's Briefing Book, where I posted this article. If you agree with what I have to say here, I ask you to please vote for Increasing Internet speeds for innovation, education, and the economy.

As a nation we suffer from relatively slow Internet connection speeds. By every account that I have heard, we are 15th world-wide and slipping fast. This fact is noted in a briefing from the Indiana Department of Education [1], showing the average connection speed in Japan is nearly 30 times the US average, where France enjoys more than seven times our average connection speed, and even our neighbor Canada has an average that is three times that in the US. This affects every citizen of the US in several ways.

First, it impacts our ability to innovate, and as our manufacturing moves overseas it is extremely important that we retain our innovation. Increased innovation results in increased exports of technology and also provides us with new products that will make our lives better.

Second, it affects our ability to teach our children. Every child should have fast access to the Internet to allow them to view resources far beyond the bounds of their public library. Instead of relying on microfiche newspapers like I did, I want my children to be able to see history happening in video form and read the accounts of those that actually lived through it.

Last, this affects how we view our media. With high speed Internet access we will see the rise of on-demand Television, allowing consumers to watch what they want when they want. This change in consumption technology will lower the cost of production, driving the arts and allowing niche content to be made available.

I humbly request that the Obama Whitehouse push for increased carrier competition, to fund investment in new communication technologies, and to help ensure that every American has fast connectivity to the Internet.


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