Democracy & Technology Blog Exa-blogging

Two links of interest:
(1) The New York Times technology blog BITS takes up the Exaflood question here.
(2) Matthew Yglesias of The Atlantic endorses Paul Krugman’s broadband vision that says the U.S. has fallen hideously behind other nations because of too little regulation. Here was my reply in the comments section:

Hyper-regulation of telecom networks in the late 90s and early 2000s blocked investment and helped cause the telecom/tech crash. America fell far behind Korea and other Asian and European nations, with Korea by 2003 boasting some 40 times the per capita bandwidth of the U.S. Then the U.S. wised up, the FCC and state utility commissions relaxed or eliminated many of our dumb anti-investment regulations, and fiber-optic and wireless broadband investment is now BOOMING. Verizon and AT&T are in the midst of a massive fiber-optic buildout that might approach $50 billion. Verizon’s FiOS service offers speeds up to 50 Mbps, with plans to offer 100 Mbps. AT&T is offering a 25 Mbps service. The cable companies — who were always less regulated and thus took the broadband lead over the last decade — are now responding in kind, increasing their 3 and 5 Mbps services up to 15 and even 30 Mbps in many areas. After a disastrous decade of regulatory paralysis, we are now in a virtuous upward spiral of competition, and American broadband is now hitting on all cylinders, with worldclass speeds and services either being delivered right now or just around the corner. Virtually the only thing that could stop these positive developments are the very actions Krugman et al call for: net neutrality regulation, re-regulation of cable now being sought inexplicably by FCC chair Martin, and more government involvement in general.
Bret Swanson
Posted by Bret Swanson | December 2, 2007 11:20 AM

Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson is a Senior Fellow at Seattle's Discovery Institute, where he researches technology and economics and contributes to the Disco-Tech blog. He is currently writing a book on the abundance of the world economy, focusing on the Chinese boom and developing a new concept linking economics and information theory. Swanson writes frequently for the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal on topics ranging from broadband communications to monetary policy.