Just after paying my $145 monthly telecom bill, I noticed this Wall Street Journal story about how cities nationwide are trying to promote faster broadband Internet service.
The problem is that much of the U.S. is falling behind other industrialized economies in terms of Web access speed and cost, which potentially hinders innovation -- not to mention convenience. How is it that high-speed Internet is just a quarter as costly in Japan and even Canada has faster service?
Washington in particular lags behind. See this post. Tacoma has a municipal network and this year Gov. Gregoire signed a law to begin planning broader system. But those seem like very small steps.
Several U.S. cities are investing in their own networks, against the wishes of telecom firms that nearly have a stranglehold. According to the article, telecoms seem to have two main arguments. The local projects are an unfair competitive threat, they say, and the projects will be more costly than local governments project. (Here's the latest from Qwest.)
Should local governments here be doing more to help?