My Man, Barack Obama

Barack Obama is unveiling his new technology plan for the prospective Obama White House. The plan is aggressive and forward-looking, with open-government mandates unlike anything we’ve previously seen. But especially for you Wire New Yorkers, here is a reason to vote for Barack come primary day:

VentureBeat » Exclusive: Barack Obama to name a “Chief Technology Officer”

Second, Obama makes new stances on several other areas of technology of interest to Silicon Valley’s tech community. He calls more aggressive government support of broadband access. Specifically, he calls for subsidies for phone carriers to be given to only those carriers offering both regular phone service and Internet broadband to rural areas. To date, carriers offering merely phone service have been able to claim subsidies from the so-called Universal Service Fund, giving them little incentive to roll out out broadband. This is also new, in that he hasn’t proposed this before.

So, this is one more way to leap-frog our way into the 21st Century in rural counties. It would be a huge boost, if not specifically to the Brodsky Bill, then for the basic fairness issue to which the Brodsky is addressed.

Wire New York: The Truth About Broadband

Are you happy with your Internet connection speed? Glad to have that zippy broadband access and always carping at your cheap-ass dad to finally make the upgrade? Yep. You’ve got Road Runner, so you should be proud.

Or should you? While you’re mulling over your support for the Brodsky Telecom Bill (aka, Wire New York), consider this: of the top 18 most expensive broadband countries, Americans rank 17th, paying $36 compared to an average $43. Good so far, but what about quality of service? Well, we only get about 1.9mbps (megabits per second) download speed, as opposed to Japan’s fifth most expensive market, where the speed is around 61mbps. You don’t need to be a computer whiz, a mathematician or even Exile on Ericsson St. to see that $49 for Japanese broadband is a far-and-away better deal.

And if that makes you sick, read about the latest record-setter in broadband speed, once again, not in the US:

The Local – Sigbritt, 75, has world’s fastest broadband

A 75 year old woman from Karlstad in central Sweden has been thrust into the IT history books – with the world’s fastest internet connection.{{snip}}

Sigbritt will now be able to enjoy 1,500 high definition HDTV channels simultaneously. Or, if there is nothing worth watching there, she will be able to download a full high definition DVD in just two seconds.

No word on what that will cost, but can you even imagine such speeds without paying for some commercial-grade service like a shared T1? Of course not.

Does it get worse? Oh, yes. Much, much worse below the fold:

Wire New York

I’ve had a few too many things going on in the last month, and haven’t had the opportunity to give this bill the time and attention it deserves, but DragonFlyEye.Net is one more blog in New York asking its readers to please support the Brodsky telecom bill, currently being called “Wire New York.”

I’ve taken the opportunity to snag the snazzy graphic from Rochester Turning and Sayhar’s outstanding articles on the subject. It’s now featured prominently at the right of this blog. After all, if this website, one of whose features is an entire section dedicated to technology politics, cannot get behind this bill, who could?

This new bill goes light years beyond any other legislation in promoting the upstate economy by treating the Internet the way it should be viewed: as a key component of the state’s infrastructure, no less important that rail lines or highways. Providing adequate broadband coverage across the entire state means providing a source of revenue, communication, education and free speech, in equal and fair measure, across all segments of our state.

The bill also includes strong Net Neutrality language. The Net Neutrality issues is a complex one that tends to throw people off quite a bit. Go read Sayhar’s articles on the subject, they’re very good primers and include videos by the Save the Internet folks. The trick with NN in New York State is reach: companies who don’t reside in NYS don’t have to follow our rules of Net Neutrality. But the real reason for including such language is to force the issue on the national level, where it can do some real good. If we can get something like this passed in our dysfunctional parliamentary system, surely it can happen on the national level.

And so consider this the first of many appeals to please contact Governor Spitzer and tell him that spreading the prosperity of the Internet across our state is important to you. Tell him to support the Brodsky Telecom Bill today: 518-747-8390.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about Net Neutrality and the benefits of spreading the ‘Net around the state from this blog soon!