The Future of the Internet Hangs in the Balance

Oct. 30, 2015–Susan joins NPR’s John Hockenberry on The Takeaway to discuss the release of Freedom House’s annual Internet Freedom Report. “The future contours of the internet are definitely up for grabs,” says Crawford. “There’s this choice we’re facing—whether we’re going to have this network that provides humans with choices, opportunities, and self determination, or whether China and Russia’s vision will be the prevailing one.”

Marketplace Tech: Cable Giants Call Off Merger

April 24, 2015–Listen to the news segment here.  “All that scale would give Comcast enormous discretion over what reaches Americans, what Americans pay, information flows, customer service—really unlimited power,” says Susan Crawford is co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

The National Broadband Plan

In “Why Obama is In the Lead on High-Speed Internet Access Policy,” I implied that things had dramatically changed in national telecommunications policy since the release of the National Broadband Plan in March 2010. I don’t want to leave the impression that the National Broadband Plan was anything other than extraordinary. It represented the culmination of an extraordinary effort in an extraordinarily compressed period of time carried out by an extraordinary team that was ably led by Blair Levin, the well-known telecommunications expert who is now spearheading the important Gig.U initiative…

Reclaiming the Narrative

President Obama is about to speak to the largest audience he will have for a while. He’s a communicator at heart, a gifted, graceful writer and a powerful speaker. He wants to control his narrative legacy, and Tuesday night is one of the last opportunities he will have to shape his story in public before Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton steal the stage. So it’s a big speech, and he’s been winding up for it for a while, criss-crossing the country to outline his plans. The State of the Union,…

Fiber by cities: Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle

Although everyone thinks of high-speed, high-capacity Internet access as a “must have” — a utility — the entire highly-concentrated information-transport industry in the US can set prices and determine the quality of their services at will. With the exception of the 16M households that will have access to (expensive) Verizon FiOS services — and can choose between that service and cable — the rest of the country has vanishingly few choices for high-capacity data transport. And America does not have a plan for making an upgrade to fiber optic connections…

Stockholm and Leverett: Case Studies in Fiber Deployment

Tomorrow morning I’ll end a two-week research trip to Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Stockholm, and fly home. It’s been quite a journey, and I’ll be thinking about it for years to come. I was on several quests, focusing on government innovation, fiber policy, and the effect of high-capacity communications on peoples’ lives. Later posts and reports (and a book) will focus on government innovation. But for today, let’s start with fiber. A recap: Fiber to the home deployments in America will bring both direct and indirect economic benefits to the country…