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"Government should be laying broadband like Eisenhower laid interstates" according to John Hodgman


Posted: November 19, 2014 by David Curry

John Hodgman might be best known in the tech community as the "I'm a PC" guy on the Apple advertisements, but his career extends to all sorts of comedic and political bounds, making him an excellent source for the current Internet crisis in the U.S.

In 2006, Hodgman wrote on how Internet service providers would be able to content creators pay for faster speeds to the customers, before any of the net neutrality crusade started.



Even though his appeals went largely on deaf ears, Hodgman's assessment was not far off, even though it looks like content creators are actively fighting against the telecoms, instead of working with them to create speed disparity.

Hodgman is back on the net neutrality cause, after a brief hiatus working on his third book - That is All - in 2011, alongside some other writing and comedy work for various shows.

In an excellent essay - written on Tumblr - Hodgman goes into detail about his support for net neutrality, Obama's plan and the reasoning behind making all packets the same price, regardless of size or company.
But these are also companies that built their empires on public resources (airwaves) and across and under private and public lands. What’s more, it is a profound benefit to the growth of the US economy as a whole to promote vigorous entrepreneurship among the many small businesses (and  creative artists and media networks) who will be the employers and money engines of tomorrow. - John Hodgman
Hodgman strongly believes that if one or two companies are capable of mass control, it will bring down speeds to a crumble. Telecoms will simply rid the Internet of anything deemed competitive or criticism.

The critique against telecoms is not unwarranted, especially considering the power they may yield in the U.S. if the net neutrality bill does not reclassify them under Title II common carrier.

The U.S. has a long line of past monopolies destroying the economy, as do many other markets. In the rapid world of the Internet, where one small studio can become the next Facebook, there needs to be no boundaries on the way to the top.

NYC Replacing Payphones with LinkNYC Terminals


Posted: November 18, 2014 by David Curry

New York City is tired of payphones and wants to replace all 6,400 of them in the next six years.

Instead of stripping them down and leaving empty plots, the state is partnering with CityBridge, an organization credited for building LinkNYC, to create terminals, known as Links.



These Links will offer an experience much like a payphone, but with many other advantages. First and foremost, the Link will offer 1Gbps fiber WiFi for anyone in the 150 foot proximity.

Users will be able to enjoy WiFi at ten times the speed of their home broadband. This does not look like a commercial deal just yet, but give a few iterations to increase the density of the Links, and it might be a suitable alternative.

Unlike some of the cities CityBridge has worked in, this 1Gbps network will be available 24/7, according to the group. Qualcomm, TITAN and Comark will be some of the partners for this project.

Other features on the Link include:

Free calling nationwide
Tablet with Android ecosystem to get directions and information
911 and 311 emergency calling
Free charging for mobile devices

Compared to a payphone, Link offers a lot of features and they're all free. Taxpayers will not fund this project - the state is making a long term investment and hoping it will yield profits in the future.

To fund the investment, LinkNYC will display dynamic advertisements on the side of the terminals. These ads will reportedly bring in $500 million in revenue.

CityBridge will employ 100 to 150 people to work on maintenance and engineering for the Link. Things like software updates, wireless updates and charging ports will need to be checked every few months and NYC is expecting 10,000 Links in the next 6 years.