America’s broadband crisis

“This country has been challenged to make broadband available to 98 percent of Americans. It’s a challenge to lay the foundation for education, innovation and equal opportunity in the 21st century,” according to Wireless For America.

“Unfortunately, recent research shows that our country ranks No. 15 in broadband penetration. We rank No. 26 in broadband speed, behind countries such as South Korea and even Romania. The situation is especially dire in rural America, which has essentially become an “emerging market” for broadband. Rural communities often lack the most basic fiber optic connectivity, which puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting new businesses, creating jobs, and gaining access to education.

The crisis includes:

•A shrinking spectrum. “We’re on track to run out of network capacity in less than two years. In short, we have too many devices and too little airwaves in use to support them.”

•A restrictive duopoly. “An even more pressing issue that is slowing broadband momentum is the wireless industry’s competitive landscape. Currently dominated by only a few players, industry consolidation is threatening to create a market where only two companies have nearly 80 percent share.”

The website is here.

A GOP political “circus”?

“With Republican voters’ preferences ricocheting wildly from one candidate to another, the 2012 GOP presidential race could go down in history as one of the most volatile and unpredictable ever,” according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

“In just a few months, Americans have witnessed the meteoric rise – and subsequent collapse – of a tongue-tied former pizza executive (Herman Cain); a formerly obscure Minnesota congresswoman (Michele Bachmann); and a folksy, debate-challenged Texas governor (Rick Perry).

“Now, they’re watching the political renaissance of Newt Gingrich, the three-times-married former speaker of the House. He was the first speaker in history to resign after the House sanctioned him for ethics violations. Not so long ago, he was considered such a political loser that his senior campaign staff abruptly quit.

“‘Having watched presidential elections since 1968, this is the most bizarre dynamic that I’ve ever seen,’ said Democratic consultant Garry South, who has advised presidential candidates including Joe Lieberman and Al Gore. ‘And it’s more of a reflection on Mitt Romney than anything else.’

The rest of the article is here.