American Daughter has informed me of a new blog the Radio Nerd. With a name like that I thought, “I have to see what this is about.” It was worth the journey. Radio has a post about our broadband service and it’s comparison to Estonia’s. I would imagine most Americans are a bit short in the mental department which identifies Estonia as a Sovereign Nation, formerly a member of the Soviet Union, and about the size of Houston or maybe Jacksonville, I would guess. Anyway Radio says:

The United States is 15th in the world in broadband penetration, according
to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). When the ITU measured a broader “digital opportunity” index (considering price and other factors) we were 21st — right after Estonia.

Asian and European customers get home connections of 25 to 100 megabits per second (fast enough to stream high-definition video). Here, we pay almost twice as much for connections that are one-twentieth the speed.

How have we fallen so far behind? Through lack of competition.

I like Radio’s idea and will link his blog. However, (there’s always a however, ain’t there?) I don’t think competition has anything to do with our lack of decent service I think it is a direct reflection on the thought processes of bureaucrats. They have none.

Let me explain. We have a local Expressway, boy is that an oxymoron in America, that runs three lanes for one uninterrupted mile at a certain location. Today I “hopped” onto to this roadway – normally it runs at American broadband speed for comparison – and found I had gotten forced onto a 14k modem that had static on the line.

Why so slow? The thoughtful government persons in charge of repairs closed down the two outside lanes for some minor repair leaving only one open lane to handle all traffic. The backup created at noon by this fiasco is miles long and proceeding at 1 mile to the half hour. That is wheelchair speed, or less. I would estimate the cost in lost time, wages, wasted gasoline, jobs lost for being late, etc., will amount quickly into the hundreds of thousands of dollars range.

Radio Nerd estimated analogous kinds of costs in his analysis of our broadband system, but since our road people obviously don’t have the mental capacity to do something along those lines, I must assume the broadband people don’t either.

So rather than “lack of competition” being the barrier to barely decent services I would suggest that stupidity at all levels of government employment is the culprit. Each and everyone of us has a story about the idiot we encountered when last we had to come face to face with someone in government service. It is not a pleasant experience but we have gotten so used to mumbling, grousing, lazy, incompetent, stupidity pawned off as “service,” we don’t bother to even write Senator Onthetake, or email Representative Igotminegetlost, we just smile, thankfully leave, and pray to Almighty God we never have to face that particular form of punishment again.

Now if I was in charge of anything I would fire the persons responsible for these kinds of things and hire only those with the analytic skills to figure out that doing this repair at night would be much more advantageous, regardless of overtime cost. The actual monetary outlay for labor would in fact probably be far less, even at overtime wage-scales, because with less traffic people relax a little and work more efficiently.

I suggest Radio Nerd, since he sits on one of the controlling committees of the broadband people, look into some kind corrective along these lines. Fire the morons who believe slow lousy service is great and hire one person who understands that the United States of America should have a 10 lane super fast Autobahn type broadband spectrum with no repair work permitted during daylight hours. Would that work? Of course.

You see the one fact lost in all this is this. We The People of the United States of America control that broadband spectrum. Put me in charge for 1 week and see what happens. Make me commissioner of the FCC – I will do it for free – then move over.

First of all I would call in the big boys and tell them right up front – telephone poles, copper wires, cables, etc., run on my property and yours and they don’t own them. They agreed to public use, fast efficient, public service when they got permission to put them in. Either provide the fastest service to everyone immediately at reasonable fees or I will find a company somewhere in Estonia or Outer Mongolia that will.

How long do you think it would take ATT/Sbc/Sprint/Comcast, etc., (I thought we spent billions over decades to breakup that AT&T monopoly) to install the required switches, servers, cables, and so forth? Twenty minutes? Maybe. Maybe only ten.

The second thing I would tell the “big boys,” on my first day as FCC commissioner, is that their licenses are all suspended for “national security reasons,” effective immediately. (Can I do that? We’ll find out won’t we?) I would then inform them those licenses would be reinstated only on proof that the best possible service at the lowest possible profitability was being provided. If they failed to do that within thirty days I would give those licenses to which ever of them would promise to do so.

Do you think Vorizon would step in to fill a gap caused by the loss of service from ATT? How about Deutsches Telecom? Do you think they would provide better cable service than the garbage I get from my provider? We don’t need competition we need someone with nerve enough to tell these Megopolies we have allowed to infest our airwaves the party is over. Do your jobs or look for another way to make money.

It really is that simple. As for the law suits? With government money backing me I can have the Justice department employess find busy-work ways to stall in the courts for 50 years. That’s how long it took to breakup the old AT&T. As FCC commissioner for a week I can put in more rules, regulations, recommendations, and stipulations than anyone will believe. I would make providing lousy service a living hell for whoever thought they could profit from it. The fines I would levy for violations of my rules would in the multiple millions, not the thousands that are now imposed. What incentive is there to improve anything if there are no consequences? None.

Now having said all that, and the companies involved knowing that as FCC Com- missioner I will have the power to do these things, I do have a couple of questions for them. Where do I pickup my payoff?  Do you guys want me to stop by the office or just give you the off shore account numbers? Let me know I’m already working on new rules.

Oh and by the way, Big Telecom Company…let’s do lunch one day.

Taa Taa!

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