US Presidential candidates promise better broadband

As reported by the Christian Science Monitor, Both Obama and McCain have promised better broadband in the US if they are elected, helping the country address abysmal broadband offerings at present. I prefer Obama’s plan over McCain’s:

For cable and phone companies, connecting scattered populations in rural areas doesn’t make financial sense. Mr. McCain favors encouraging private companies to build out the Internet infrastructure by providing business tax incentives. But if a hands-off, free-market approach fails, he supports letting local governments step in to take over the job.

Mr. Obama gets there a somewhat different way. He wants to redirect the Universal Service Fund, fed by fees collected from telecommunications companies, so that instead of mostly promoting better phone service for rural and low-income Americans, it helps pay for affordable broadband.

Both candidates say they will look at underused portions of the wireless spectrum that could be tapped to provide low-cost broadband. Neither one seems tethered to hardened positions, however. That flexibility bodes well for a wired America, no matter which candidate wins.

When Obama is elected, the potential for broadband to be used within the US for ICT4Peace (e.g. for the promotion of content creation and wider dissemination of ethnic media within the US that augments inter-cultural relations and celebrates diversity) is the same as that which I noted in my post on universal broadband access legislation by 2010 in the EU.

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