Friday, July 13, 2007

Time for a Tech-Savvy Candidate

This is something I could completely get behind.

Technologically savvy campaigns are one thing, but we also need candidates who themselves have a basic understanding of how this stuff works. We need to elect the first tech president. The Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) is leading the charge with a six-point technical agenda it is hoping the presidential candidates will support. If a candidate disagrees with part of it, I want to know why.
And what should the candidate promise to do with "The Tubes"?
Declare the Internet a public good. This means treating Internet access the same way we do water, electricity, highways, and public education. The government would have an obligation to enable low-cost universal access.

Commit to providing affordable high-speed wireless Internet access nationwide. Protect and expand unlicensed spectrum for public use. The PDF suggests spending $20 billion on an Internet Innovation and Investment Fund that would guarantee and spur development of a wireless broadband blanket and make sure the Net reaches every segment of the population.

Declare a Net neutrality standard. This would prevent ISPs from discriminating among content based on origin, application, or type. And with no tiered service pricing, big corporations couldn’t buy their way into the fast lane, leaving smaller firms and individuals behind.

Make “Every Child Connected” our goal. If major corporations are able to increase the productivity of their workers by equipping them with PCs, cell phones, and Internet connections, we owe it to our children to offer the same infrastructure in schools.

Commit to building a connected democracy. Local and national government proceedings should be broadcast on the Internet so anyone can hear them anytime.

Create a National Tech Corps. This group would respond to emergencies by reestablishing communications, networks, and databases, and providing tech support for relief and recovery efforts.


  1. I could get behind this so long as the stipulation is that networks are built using the UTOPIA model, allowing multiple private providers on a public wholesale network that enforces the provisions of Net Neutrality and universal access.

  2. I believe that is why the first promise of making the internet a public good is so important.

    After that, networks like the UTOPIA model become a standard, and much easier to construct.