Your internet sucks because telco monopolists kept Gigi Sohn off the FCC.
So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don’t you try using two Dixie cups with a string? We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the Phone Company. — Lily Tomlin, The Phone Company
The internet is an American invention. It exists thanks to US public dollars that were showered on military contractors, with a little incidental spillover onto America’s institutes of higher learning.
54 years after the first Arpanet demo, America is an also-ran in the global internet league tables. Americans pay more for slower broadband than their counterparts, whether that’s in wealthy countries of the global north, or looted post-colonial nations in the global south.
This matters because the internet isn’t a mere pornography distribution system, nor a tool of extremist radicalization, nor a glorified video-on-demand service —nor any of the other dismissive epithets used to minimize the consequences of America’s worst-in-class internet service.
The internet is a single wire that delivers free speech, a free press, free assembly, access to education, civics, health care, community, politics, family, employment and even romance.