This is the shit that really effects peoples lives and holds us back as an educated and informed society. The fiscal responsibility isn’t there either. Hopefully at some point enough people know and care enough about this type of corruption.
“Imagine if you could say anything or do anything, with the odds of getting caught being almost nil. Even if you are apprehended, there would be little, if any, repercussions.”
Welcome to The Book of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net“. It is being pre-released as a PDF version because these are critical times in communications.
It is the third book in a trilogy that started in 1998 and it details some of the largest scandals in American telecommunications history.
So let me tell you a story, which is told in all of its gory details in the book.
$400 Billion Broadband Scandal
By the end of 2014, America will have been charged about $400 billion by the local phone incumbents, Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink, for a fiber optic future that never showed up. And though it varies by state, counting the taxes, fees and surcharges that you have paid every month (many of these fees are actually revenues to the company or taxes on the company that you paid), it comes to about $4000-$5000.00 per household from 1992-2014, and that’s the low number.
You were also charged about nine times to wire the schools and libraries via state and federal plans designed to help the phone and cable companies.
And if that doesn’t bother you, by year-end of 2010, and based on the commitments made by the phone companies in their press statements, filings on the state and federal level, and the state-based ‘alternative regulation’ plans that were put in place to charge you for broadband upgrades of the telephone company wire in your home, business, as well as the schools and libraries — America, should have been the world’s first fully fibered, leading edge broadband nation.
In fact, in 1992, the speed of broadband, as detailed in state laws, was 45 Mbps in both directions — by 2014, all of us should have been enjoying gigabit speeds (1000 Mbps).
Instead, America is not number 1 or 2 or 5 or even 10th in the world in broadband. As of Monday, September 15th, 2014, one of the standard testing companies of the speed of broadband, worldwide, Net Index by Ookla, pegged America at 25th in the world in download speeds and 40th in upload speeds. Though this accounting varies daily, America’s download speeds are never in the top 20 countries.
The Information Superhighway to Nowhere (1991-2004)
Starting in 1991, the Clinton-Gore ticket proposed a visionary plan which Al Gore dubbed the “Information Superhighway”: Simply put:
There is a wire that goes into your home, school or office as everyone in America is entitled to phone service. This was based on a copper wire that was put in as part of the state-based utility and most of them are controlled by what are now AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink. And these networks were aging as almost all of America had been wired for phone service by the 1960’s.
Starting in 1990s, (though it varies by state), this copper wire was supposed to be replaced with a fiber optic wire, which would allow for new innovative services, not to mention cable TV and video. And it was always supposed to be an upgrade of the state-based utility known as the “PSTN”, the “Public Switched Telephone Networks”.
It was also supposed to be open to all manner of competition. You, the customer, would choose who offered you Internet, cable, broadband and even phone service over that wire.