An Idea Whose Time Has Come


Yesterday Dave Winer mentioned in passing an idea which
we have been thinking about more and more lately. He
, "I want
Internet access to become ubiquitous and free as soon as possible."

Let us take that thought to another level. In order to
achieve that goal, the length and breath of America must be wired for
high-speed wireless internet access in the largest public works project
since Eisenhower committed to the Interstate
Highway System
in 1956.

Furthermore, we believe that the installation of a national,
free, public internet interface would bolster American business, multiply
productivity, foster innovation and create a competitive comparative
advantage which would assure American primacy in the wired world well
into the 21st century.

Lately we have been wondering what kind of politician
we would not only
support, but actually get off our ass and work for. This may be the
only issue that would do it. The first candidate for public office
who will pledge to work towards this goal will be the first candidate
to fully tap the potential of the Internet to affect the political

To actually accomplish this goal would require years
and cost billions – like the Interstate Highway system. It will probably
not be possible until we resolve this messy war on terrorism, one
way or another. The highway system sprouted in the immediate aftermath
of WWII. The money Bush is throwing into Iraq would probably be enough
to get the national wireless grid built.

The national net must be public to avoid the merciless
commercialization which is already stifling the innovation and creativity
of the web.  It must be free to insure equal access and transparent
interactivity. In the early days of the American road system
the highways were a frustrating maze of private turnpikes and roads,
toll bridges, closed, impassable stretches and constant guardhouses
and borders. No way to do efficient business.

The first candidate to swear to realize this vision would
be the immediate beneficiary of funding, organization, publicity
efforts of the wired political world of all stripes.  This is
an issue we can agree on. This is a vision we can share.

the original article Dave was
commenting on, concerning efforts to wire Philadelphia, is here

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3 Responses to An Idea Whose Time Has Come

  1. rafael cervera says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. Problem is, big business is not onboard. The same people who refuse to give up charging exorbitant prices for medicines (were talking peoples lives here) by allowing the same meds to be imported from Canada or Mexico are going to try, whatever the cost may be, to charge a premium price for Internet conectivity. Dam the torpedoes and who cares if the ship of economy goes down as long as this years balance looks good.

    Business miopia will ruin it for the rest of us. common sense will tell you that the more money people in general have, the more opportunity there is for your product. B school sense implies get as much money as you can now, look good to the board today and let the next guy worry about the overstock.

  2. Mom says:

    Another hearty “Yea” coming from the bleachers. I’m so glad that I still had enough of my marbles left when the internet became a real factor in almost every area of endeavor on the planet, and that I was able to learn enough to get a feel for what it can and will do for us all if given a chance. Thanks to my son, the Dowbrigade, for realizing that the young and strong “Generation in Charge” were not the only ones destined to both learn from and contribute to the global dialogue Always patient with questions, always making sure I could do it myself when we hung up the phone, he has my heartfelt thanks for teaching me the use of this great new tool. Michael’ Mom

  3. Hans Millard says:

    sehr gut Saite. Was machen Sie mein Freund?
    keep it up !

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