This question is central to the efforts to change the way we regulate the Internet. In a short new paper from the American Enterprise Institute, we look at a simple way to gauge whether the U.S. has in fact fallen behind other nations in coverage, speed, and price . . . and whether consumers enjoy access to content.
See our new article “Ignorance, the Ultimate Asset” at The American, the online magazine of the American Enterprise Institute.
What would “the New Normal” of a mere 1% per capita GDP growth mean for the American economy over the next few decades? What if it’s even worse, as many are now predicting? Is there anything we can do about it? If so, what? We address these items in our new article for the Business Horizon Quarterly — “Beyond the New Normal, a New Era of Growth.”
We’ve published a lot of linear and log-scale line charts of Internet traffic growth. Here’s just another way to visualize what’s been happening since 1990. The first image shows 1990-2004. Continue reading »
See our new report “Into the Exacloud” . . . including analysis of:
> Why cloud computing requires a major expansion of wireless spectrum and investment
> An exaflood update: what Mobile, Video, Big Data, and Cloud mean for network traffic
> Plus, a new paradigm for online games, Web video, and cloud software
Have we utterly deluded ourselves? Are we in a technological Dark Age? Here is my analysis in Forbes of Tyler Cowen’s new e-book essay The Great Stagnation, which argues we’ve eaten all the low-hanging fruit and maybe we’ll have to settle for less.
New numbers from Cisco allow us to update our previous comparison of actual Internet usage around the world. We think this is a far more useful metric than the usual “broadband connections per 100 inhabitants” used by the OECD and others to compile the oft-cited world broadband rankings.
What the per capita metric really measures is household size. And because the U.S. has more people in each household than many other nations, we appear worse in those rankings. But as the Phoenix Center has noted, if each OECD nation reached 100% broadband nirvana — i.e., every household in every nation connected — the U.S. would actually fall from 15th to 20th. Residential connections per capita is thus not a very illuminating measure.
But look at the actual Internet traffic generated and consumed in the U.S.
The U.S. far outpaces every other region of the world. Read the rest of this entry »
See our new CircleID commentary on the China-Google dustup and its implications for an open Internet:
China is nowhere near closing for business as it did five centuries ago. One doubts, however, that the Ming emperor knew he was dooming his people for the next couple hundred years, depriving them of the goods and ideas of the coming Industrial Revolution. China’s present day leaders know this history. They know technology. They know turning away from global trade and communication would doom them far more surely than would an open Internet.
After yesterday’s federal court ruling against the FCC’s overreaching net neutrality regulations, which we have dedicated considerable time and effort combatting for the last seven years, Holman Jenkins says it well:
Hooray. We live in a nation of laws and elected leaders, not a nation of unelected leaders making up rules for the rest of us as they go along, whether in response to besieging lobbyists or the latest bandwagon circling the block hauled by Washington’s permanent “public interest” community.
This was the reassuring message yesterday from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals aimed at the Federal Communications Commission. Bottom line: The FCC can abandon its ideological pursuit of the “net neutrality” bogeyman, and get on with making the world safe for the iPad.
The court ruled in considerable detail that there’s no statutory basis for the FCC’s ambition to annex the Internet, which has grown and thrived under nobody’s control.
. . .
So rather than focusing on new excuses to mess with network providers, the FCC should tackle two duties unambiguously before it: Figure out how to liberate the nation’s wireless spectrum (over which it has clear statutory authority) to flow to more market-oriented uses, whether broadband or broadcast, while also making sure taxpayers get adequately paid as the current system of licensed TV and radio spectrum inevitably evolves into something else.
Second: Under its media ownership hat, admit that such regulation, which inhibits the merger of TV stations with each other and with newspapers, is disastrously hindering our nation’s news-reporting resources and brands from reshaping themselves to meet the opportunities and challenges of the digital age. (Willy nilly, this would also help solve the spectrum problem as broadcasters voluntarily redeployed theirs to more profitable uses.)