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[P]
Broadband Expansion Through Tax Credits?

By Paradocis in MLP
Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 10:29:05 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

The Adrenaline Vault is running a story on an idea proposed by many Democrats to encourage more rapid deployment of broadband through corporate tax credits and loans.


Is this a good thing, or just another excuse for more government spending and higher taxes? Despite this being in the US, what would you think about government subsidized broadband deployment in your country? What do you think?

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Poll
Government subsidized broadband deployment is a...
o Good Thing. 22%
o Bad Thing. 26%
o I still miss my 300 baud modem... 17%
o Just another excuse for big government. 20%
o Evil plot by Inoshiro. 11%

Votes: 67
Results | Other Polls

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Broadband Expansion Through Tax Credits? | 28 comments (28 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Is broadband a right (3.45 / 11) (#1)
by weirdling on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:00:51 PM EST

Where in the US constitution does it say that people have a right to have the government pay for all sorts of things? The government pays for food, housing, health care, and now, *broadband*? Why not Ferraris for everyone?

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
there's a difference (3.50 / 2) (#12)
by jeanlucpikachu on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 05:20:58 PM EST

Broadband is the right of every sentient being!

Ferraris aren't.

--
Peace,
Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu AIM: jeanlucpikachu
[ Parent ]
How to differentiate? (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by weirdling on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 05:22:38 PM EST

The reason I chose the idea of Ferrari is that it is arguably faster to drive to work in a Ferrari than in a Pinto, so if broadband is a right, why not Ferrari?

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Think of it this way (4.25 / 4) (#14)
by Global-Lightning on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:33:07 PM EST

There's an analogy here:
vehicles:roadways::applications::networks

Just like vehicles need some type of road to get from point A to B, applications such as the Web, Email, FTP, etc, need an adequate network infrastructure.

Dial-up accounts, which make up the majority of connections, would correspond to the rough dirt paths that were adequate in the horse-and-buggy days of yore, while a fully developed broadband system would be the flat, smooth Interstate Highway system [but without the radar cops :) ]

With vehicles, there was a relationship between the road and cars:
Better roads created demand for faster cars, which would then exceed the capacity of the road, creating the need for better highways. Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

[ Parent ]
Of course (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by weirdling on Sun Apr 08, 2001 at 02:32:10 PM EST

Without the faster cars there would be no need for the better roads. Witness right now with the SUV craze how roads are being left alone, getting rougher on my Camaro's suspension by the day.
However, there is a flaw in your argument: users of roads *do* pay for them, through taxes on cars and gas. I'd rather simply be able to pay directly for broadband than pay a computer tax that would essentially pay for my broadband.
Of course, with the way this kind of argument goes, I'd actually end up paying for several people's broadband because 'I can afford it'. That's going to piss me off.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
rights (4.50 / 2) (#16)
by jeanlucpikachu on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 01:18:34 PM EST

A thing/object/idea/etc isn't a "right" unless you can say:

"X" is the right of every sentient being!

in a voice like Optimus Prime's.

--
Peace,
Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu AIM: jeanlucpikachu
[ Parent ]
I already have a broadband connection... (3.20 / 5) (#2)
by Zeram on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:01:49 PM EST

So in a sense I don't care. But I'm going to need to move soon and I'm dreading it. I'm actually going to have to either pcik a place based on @homes current territory or make sure I'm slap-dab next to a CO. Either way is going to make my life hell.


<----^---->
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
Poll (3.87 / 8) (#3)
by Arkady on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:02:24 PM EST

You're missing a better selection:

   just another excuse for big corporations

to pull more money from the taxpayers. It's not a "big government" issue at all, it's just another corporate welfare proposal from YOUR "representative" who are so deeply into the pockets of the big corporations that they've decided pocket lint is a nifty fashion accessory.

Or am I just bitter? ;-)

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


But... (3.25 / 4) (#4)
by Paradocis on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:09:44 PM EST

What does it say about the size of the government when it has enough power and money to sell some away to big powerful corporations? Government is just a giant monopoly.

I have no love for either of them, but at least with corporations, you usually have a choice on whether or not to purchase their product. Governments take the money before you even see it, and while I understand that there are basic services everyone recieves from simply living here (or wherever), there's a whole lot of feature creep and bloated code (so to speak) in the US Federal Government these days, and they charge you for it whether you want it or not.


-=<Paradocis>=-
+++++++++++++++++++++
"El sueño de la razon produce monstruos." -Goya
+++++++++++++++++++++


[ Parent ]
monopolists (4.00 / 3) (#10)
by Arkady on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:54:12 PM EST

I certainly agree that the government is little more than a massive monopoly itself. Worse, it's a monopoly controlled entirely by the interests of pre-existing wealth.

But, consider that it is still the major reason why you occaisionaly "have a choice on whether or not to purchase" any given corporation's product. At least it has largely kept the corporate monopolists from orgies of acquisition and merger such as have been allowed in the past few years.

Governments are merely tools, and in the U.S. that tool is in the hands of capital. That doesn't mean we need to scrap the tool (at least, not _yet_), but at a minimum it means we need to get it out of the grasping hands of capital and into hands more qualified to use it for the general good.

Only by destroying or taking control of the existing government can you replace it with a better alternative, and the U.S. government has provided a means by which it can be controlled: VOTE! Only after failing at the ballot box should you look to more drastic measures, since at least with a ballot no one gets hurt.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Advertising (4.00 / 5) (#6)
by nurglich on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:19:52 PM EST

One of the biggest uses for universal broadband I can see would be the delivery of high-content advertisement. Imagine how much content an ad could contain if it wasn't limited by the widespread use of phone modems. I imagine you'd see much larger ads with actual video and audio content, much like TV ads.

In addition, it would be very easy to distribute high-quality digital media to a nationwide audience. It wouldn't be a bad thing to have, but it still has "Big Corporations" stamped all over it. Thus, the corporations and the people who use their service should pay for it. Broadband internet access won't solve any actual problems, so I can't justify spending my taxes on it.

------------------------------------------
"There are no bad guys or innocent guys. There's just a bunch of guys!" --Ben Stiller, Zero Effect

[ Parent ]

Videophones! (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:25:15 PM EST

OTOH, if I wanted to look at those people, I wouldn't have moved away.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
I'm of multiple minds (3.40 / 5) (#5)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:16:33 PM EST

On the one hand: where the hell is my broadband?? (and, less selfishly, how is this different from phone or electric?)

On the other hand: How about passing some legislation to spank some of our *current* broadband losers?

On the gripping hand: we could wait a few years before doing anything drastic--we are talking about "extending to every American" something that nobody knew existed 10 years ago.

Play 囲碁
Oh really? (4.42 / 7) (#8)
by WinPimp2K on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:31:02 PM EST

Yes it is another example of corporate welfare at it's finest, but get a load of this justification:

The Democrats' plan would provide 1.5 billion for education to enable teachers to prepare schoolchildren for the Internet age.

Who needs to prepare who? But I'm sure that the Republicans would get behind it as soon as they can add another couple billion for the mandatory censorware installations.Personally, I think just educating teachers and children both in the fine art of critical thinking (BS detection) would do a lot more good than letting them view the Nuremberg Files, NRDA, and PETA websites "up to 50x faster" :-)

"Preparing for the Internet Age" (4.40 / 5) (#9)
by ucblockhead on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:46:07 PM EST

The best way to prepare kids from the "Internet Age" is to teach them reading, writing and basic math skills instead of wasting time on high priced videogames disguised as "educational tools".
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
I have no love for government taxation either... (4.37 / 8) (#11)
by tankgirl on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:58:25 PM EST

...but American capitalist corporations really have _no reason_ to serve outlying areas (like the mid-west, or even rural areas of highly populated states like California) without incentives like this. There is no profit maragin in serving them, so the bottom line states - don't bother. I think the American government means well by doing this, but the implementation always seems to have it's abusers on _both sides_.

Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC's) already receive compensation from our government to provide the same pricing to someone that's one mile from telecommunications equipment as someone that's ten miles.

I was finally saw the benefits of this setup in action about a year ago while working for a local bay area ISP. Our customer, based in the Marin headlands of California (way out in the boonies) ordered a frame relay T1 from us. I worked with PacBell on the provisioning. It took over two months to get the line installed, because PacBell had to dig a trench the entire route, install ten repeaters and then charge us the _same price_ as a customer in downtown San Francisco (BTW, we paid $1k, per the PUC tariff). If it hadn't been for the existing legislation our customer would've had to spend _thousands_ of dollars to get copper into their site.

What it comes down to is I'm ambivalent. I know that this sort of thing will provide much needed access to rural areas, but I also know the 'big bad corporations' will always find some way to abuse it and waste our tax dollars. There is no way to 'win' on this until our society as a whole moves towards being more altruistic.

dreaming again,
jeri.
"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
Oh really? (2.25 / 4) (#15)
by Canimal on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 12:32:43 PM EST

Oddly enough, I am in a small town in the Midwest and posting from a broadband cable modem connection. A buddy of mine in Garden City, KS has DSL. Check your facts.

Matt

[ Parent ]

So you represent _all_ small towns? (4.33 / 3) (#18)
by tankgirl on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 10:04:00 PM EST

I'm not sure why you're taking me to task over this, when the specific example I used was from personal experience. I was there, that's what actually occurred on the PacBell Marin, CA install. They benefited from the RBOC government subsidy.

I'm glad you have DSL. Heck, I'm glad your friend does, but not everyone does. My aunt in Morning Sun, Iowa couldn't get broadband access if she begged. Maybe you could run a line from your lucky small town to her house. I know she'd _really_ appreciate it, because phone service is so bad out there she barely gets 33.6 out of her 56k modem.

BTW, since you seem interested in telecommunications history, this is a nice site to start with. For specific information about what's required of an RBOC, this is a great site. It also compares international stuff (since it's actually an Australian site). Or you can go to the horse's mouth and read the complete text of the Telecommunications act of 1996.

cheers,
jeri.

"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]
Last time I checked... (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by Luke Francl on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 12:33:45 AM EST

Last time I checked, satellite dishes worked equally everywhere. Pick the appropriate technology for the situation.

This sounds like corporate welfare to me.

[ Parent ]
Actually, they depend on an onobstructed view... (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by tankgirl on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 01:01:46 AM EST

...of certain parts of the sky. Even Starband , a big name satellite provider, proclaims this on their home page in bold letters.

jeri.

"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]
Rural = unobstructed (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by Luke Francl on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 12:41:51 PM EST

Where I come from at least (the Great Plains) being rural is exactly the same as having an unobstructed view of the entire sky. It's quite glorious in the winter, and I'm sure it's perfect for satallites.

Of course, you are right, YMMV.

[ Parent ]
rural != unobstructed (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by wiredog on Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 10:27:35 AM EST

As you said, YMMV. You could be on the north side of a mountain (or largish hill) and have no southern view.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

2 months? (2.00 / 1) (#24)
by treat on Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 06:10:10 PM EST

It took them only 2 months to install a T1, and they had to lay cable to do it? It takes me 2 months to get a T1 installed by Verizon (formerly Bell Atlantic formerly NyNex formerly New York Telephone), just because they schedule the day they will type two commands on the switch that far in the future.

[ Parent ]
The Provisioning record for longest install... (none / 0) (#26)
by tankgirl on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 12:57:55 PM EST

...in my book goes to ELI. We placed an order, and had to cancel it six months later because the provision in our contract says that our customer can if we don't deliver in 90 days (there's also some tariff about it, can't remember the citation offhand). We didn't begrudge our customer this, as they were very nice, having actually waited an additional 90 days while we tried to get ELI to deliver the port and local loop on the T1.

The funny part is six months later I get a call from an ELI engineer referencing the circuit ID assigned to that customers line. He was very perky about letting me know they'd just completed testing, the line was good, and would I accept it?

I told him the relevant dates, and he couldn't believe it, the order was only one month old in his system. I've always wondered how that sucker got processed _one year_ after we placed it.

Anyway you're right about Verizon East (formerly Bell Atlantic). I've _never_ had an install occur in less than two months with them.

jeri.
"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]
Economics still work (4.00 / 1) (#25)
by Robert Hutchinson on Wed Apr 11, 2001 at 03:41:55 PM EST

American capitalist corporations really have _no reason_ to serve outlying areas
True ... and that's one of the best arguments for government to stay a mile away from it. Profit is the result of consumer demand. If there's a segment of the public clamoring for this that's large enough to get Washington, D.C.'s attention, it's certainly large enough to get businesses' attention.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

I guess the entire midwest better unite then... (none / 0) (#27)
by tankgirl on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 01:10:28 PM EST

...course that's how this idea got brought to the US government's attention in the first place, eh? Representatives of lesser areas were listening to their constituents, and formulated this proposal. Now the have and the have nots all get to vote on it in a democratic manner.

BTW, profit is not the result of consumer demand. It actually a result of market efficiency, and a whole lot of other variables. There's a heck of alot more that goes into that calculation, but you get the point....nothing is ever that simple ;-)

cheers,
jeri.
"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]
They have cities in the midwest (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by Robert Hutchinson on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 07:56:59 PM EST

Now the have and the have nots all get to vote on it in a democratic manner.
Yeah, yeah, sheep and wolves. :)
BTW, profit is not the result of consumer demand. It actually a result of market efficiency, and a whole lot of other variables.
It's a result of a lot of things, but I figured consumer demand was the most relevant for the point I wanted to make. I mean, I should hope I wouldn't have to tell anyone how efficient the government is.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

If I was President of my country... (1.50 / 4) (#17)
by Wah on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 03:55:05 PM EST

I would make it a national priority, similar to Manifest Destiny, to provide high-speed internet access to all citizens at a fair market value.

That's what I would do, but (and you may thank many things for this) I'm not President.
--
Fail to Obey?

Broadband Expansion Through Tax Credits? | 28 comments (28 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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