03 April 2014

Fiber Art

A long ago friend decided to go into the fiber art business, after being a bureaucrat and educator. I guess there's art to be found in fiber. Just not in North Carolina. That happened nearly three years ago. And the innterTubes cartel is still at it.

It was, therefore, with some amusement that I read up this Times story on how innterTubes pioneers are moving house to have really (by US standards, anyway) high speed broadband. The piece goes on and on about how behind the curve the US is, mostly in fact due to monopolistic rent-seeking private capital, with regard to innterTubes service.
"I just returned from Stockholm where fiber connections are cheap and as available as running water," said Susan Crawford, a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and author of "Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry & Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age." As a result, she said, developers there have "a digital sandbox to play in," which means they are more likely to develop the next generation of software and hardware.

Ah, it must be all that midnight sun that has addled the psyches of Swedes to make them hate the Free Market. Fact is, the Damn Gummint (DoD and NSF, mostly) created the backbone. And it was academics, mostly, that figured out the tech. Only later, once the heavy lifting was done, did the Daddy Warbucks folks say, "gimme, gimme".

What's truly remarkable, and must be due to denseness on the part of the writer and/or editors:
It's why Brad Kalinoski and Tinatsu Wallace moved from Los Angeles to Wilson, N.C. The husband-and-wife team co-own Exodus FX, a company that provides special effects for commercials, television and feature films like "The Black Swan" and "Captain America."

The reason that bit is remarkable: North Carolina has paid off the ISPs by banning municipal broadband service, fiber generally. I guess irony is lost in the Times. This is a state by state list.
"In New York, I pay four times as much as someone in Stockholm would pay for a connection that is 17 times as slow on the download and 167 times as slow on upload," [Crawford] said. "Most of us are paying enormous rents for second-class service."

Well, corporations are people, too. And they need big houses to hold all those big ideas they have.

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