Monday, 22 March 2010

BBC: super-fast broadband for all

Earlier this month the BBC earnestly reported that internet access should be considered a human right.

Today we see another report:
Gordon Brown has said Labour plans to give every home in the UK access to super-fast broadband.

In a speech, the prime minister called high-speed web access "the electricity of the digital age" which "must be for all - not just for some".

The Conservatives say they have made a similar pledge and have attacked a £6-a-year landline levy planned by Labour.

[Brown] argued that faster broadband speeds would allow for cheaper and better public services as well as ushering in more sophisticated entertainment options and making trade easier.

But leaving this to the market alone would lead to coverage "determined not by need or by social justice, but by profitability" and "a lasting, pervasive and damaging new digital divide"
I won't rehash my previous comments, though they all still stand. Instead, I'll note:
  • With government spending out of control, it is outrageous (if unsurprising) that Gordon Brown continues to play pork barrel politics, proposing further exploitation of the compliant majority for the benefit of yet another minority group.
  • The Conservatives have once again demonstrated that you can't hold a cigarette paper between them and the openly socialist parties. As on so many issues, they oppose the details of Labour's proposal, but not the principle.
  • All of this passes without comment in the BBC article. One would hardly expect a state-supported organisation to question statism.
Jeffrey Miron recently reported on similar proposals across the pond, where "Federal regulators detailed a $20 billion, 10-year plan to ensure all U.S. households access to high-speed Internet service."

He asks:
What could possibly justify federal or any government action in this arena? Private companies have ample incentive to expand internet service when the revenues exceed the costs. This FCC plan is just a transfer to rural households.

No comments:

Post a Comment