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Dana Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist for over 25 years and has covered the online world professionally since 1985. He founded the "Interactive Age Daily" for CMP Media, and has written for the Chicago Tribune, Advertising Age, and dozens of other publications over the years.
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Moore’s Law defines the history of technology. It held that the number of circuits etched on a given piece of silicon could double every 18 months as far as its author, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, could see. Moore’s Law has spawned constant revolutions since then, not just in computing but in communications, in science, in a host of areas. Moore’s Law applies to radios, and to optical fiber, but there are some areas where it doesn’t apply. In this blog we’ll take a daily look at new implications of Moore’s Law in real time, as it rolls forward to create our future.
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July 23, 2005

Qwest Seeks Yet More Subsidies

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Posted by Dana Blankenhorn

Let's review.

The Bells promised to serve us broadband if we let them run over Wireless ISPs. Done. No broadband.

So they promised us broadband if we would give them absolute control over their lines, ending any requirement for wholesaling. Done. No broadband.

Then they promised us broadband if we'd stop cities from buildig out wireless networks that might compete with them. Nearly done. Still no broadband.

Now, Qwest is pushing a plan in Congress to tax your broadband access and hand it the money, promising broadband in rural areas.

It's amazing anyone would believe such hollow promises, given the history. Color Democrat Byron Dorgan and Republican Gordon Smith (both represent areas covered by Qwest) as believers. The National Journal reports the two Senators are working together on just a Qwest-subsidy bill.

Here's a quote from the National Journal article:

Aides to Smith said the bill would make money in the Universal Service Fund available so telecommunications providers could build out broadband facilities. "It would be built into the same structure, and might end up as a stand-alone fund, within the current system next to the high-cost fund," an aide said.

Here's why this is not only theft, but stupid.


By simply raising WiFi power limits in rural areas, and enabling competition (mandating the re-sale of fiber capacity in these rural areas) Dorgan and Smith could get what they want without the ratepayers or taxpayers having to spend more dime.

All Qwest will do with this money is extend its fiber nodes out a bit, to extend its stranglehold on rural ratepayers. Then it will come back for more subsidies.

Competition is the answer to broadband's problems, not subsidized monopoly. Small companies, not big government.

Think Washington will listen?

Not so long as Qwest keeps spending to buy your legislators, they won't. (The link is to political contributions made by Qwest CEO Richard Notebaert in the last election cycle. Play the same game with other Qwest insiders, and with the corporation itself. Fun for the whole family.)

NOTE: This game also works well at OpenSecrets.Org.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business Strategy | Digital Divide | Internet | Politics | Telecommunications


1. Dwayne on July 24, 2005 10:01 AM writes...

Qwest has increased its broadband from 30 to over 65% of its landlines in the last 3 years.

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2. Jesse Kopelman on July 26, 2005 04:51 PM writes...

Dana agree with you on principal, but not on technology. It is not power limits that make iFi unsuitable for this application it is the MAC. Go with WiMax or a 3G variant like UMTS-TD and the problem is solved.

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