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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Should the government regulate internet speed and availability?

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and development, which does an international comparison of different economic activities, the U.S. was ranked fifteenth for broadband lines per person. This is a drop from fourth place in 2004. Meaning that the country responsible for inventing the internet is not enjoying it at the top speed possible and with all inclusivity; currently only 55% of American households are connected to the internet. So the obvious solution, according to Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts, is to encourage the government to step in and use grants and subsidies in order to allow all parts of the country to have access to high speed internet. Markey says “promoting broadband would help spur job growth, access to health care and education and promote innovation among other benefits. Everyone in society benefits from the internet, and everyone should be able to access it. There is only one reason the government should step in and regulate. The telecommunications corporations are trying to create a monopoly with the internet, limiting who can receive internet and at what speeds, at exorbitant prices. The government does need to step in and prevent a monopoly from occurring. The government’s role in this situation should be to prevent exclusion from the benefits of the internet, and prevent a monopoly from occurring.

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