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web3dlawyer:

Getting beyond the magic broadband bullet theory
Too many national discussions about broadband’s impact on economic development get caught up in wonky mumble jumble and blue-sky numbers. Meanwhile, at the community level, many a discussion regresses to “why should my tax dollars help teenagers surf YouTube?” No wonder U.S. broadband speeds languish behind Iceland and Slovenia.

Policymakers (many well-intentioned), government agencies, and elected officials, as well as big telecos’ lobbyists conning their way into more government subsidies for empty broadband promises, seem to fall into two camps hindering progress.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Too many national discussions about broadband’s impact on economic development get caught up in wonky mumble jumble and blue-sky numbers. Meanwhile, at the community level, many a discussion regresses to “why should my tax dollars help teenagers surf YouTube?” No wonder U.S. broadband speeds languish behind Iceland and Slovenia.

Policymakers (many well-intentioned), government agencies, and elected officials, as well as big telecos’ lobbyists conning their way into more government subsidies for empty broadband promises, seem to fall into two camps hindering progress.

Bold weavers versus assumptive forecasters

One camp is the bold weavers, those who spout numbers and stats that seem woven from whole cloth, indicating broadband’s responsible for “x” million new jobs or “y” billion dollars. It is difficult, if not impossible, to draw clear lines between these types of grandiose statements and local economic realities to create good policy.

The other camp, assumptive forecasters, touts economic outcomes…

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