Friday, May 04, 2007

High Speed New York

There's a good discussion on Assemblyman Brodsky and Senator Leibell's Telecommunications Reform Act (A.3980B/S.5124) going on over at The Albany Project. This is a bill the Working Families Party supports. Here are two reasons why:
  1. Telecom companies are moving away from the copper wires that form our current communications infrastructure toward high speed fiber optic wires. If you've seen Verizon's ads for FIOS, that's what they're talking about. To switch from copper wire to fiber optic wire, that wire has to be laid out first and homes need to be wired to it.

    The emerging trend is that high income places are getting wired and the rest of us are getting left out. Are you living in a luxury condo? You get fiber optic cable. Are you a working family? No dice. Are you upstate? Forget about it. Brodsky's bill would change that and stimulate development of universal broadband.

  2. The transition from copper to fiber optics is opening up new business opportunities. That's drawing new companies like Vonage into the telecom business. These new entrants aren't regulated under the existing system and aren't held to the same service requirements. What does that mean in practice? No guarantee of 911 emergency phone service is one example.
If we want a 21st century economy - and the good jobs that come with it - we need a 21st century communications system. We're not there. The United States ranks 16th in the world in broadband penetration - and our rank is getting lower when it should be getting higher.

Universal high speed internet service is a cornerstone of 21st century communications. New York needs to be out front on this, and needs to take charge in managing this transition so that everyone is included in a high speed New York.

Head over to The Albany Project for more - and be sure to read the comments section too.

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