Bobby Vassallo rants in an open Letter to President Trump:
I know you have a lot on your plate right now. Considering the vast number of items you must address daily, I want to let you know my appreciation of your time, hereby. While the economy is of almost utmost importance on your priority list, if indeed the new economy is internet-based, my plea is that you focus on this most critical and political item to make sure your Red States do not continue to be underserved.
As you are aware, internet capacity is vital to conducting business today. To that end, a Federal judge ruled it a public utility, as necessary as water and power. The necessary capacity to run a business increases by the day. By 2020, the amount of capacity necessary to be competitive with other economies could be several times higher than it is today. Tech centers like South Korea are running circles around us, innovation coming from their access to greatly-superior internet capacities.
Your FCC is not only backing down on innovation, it is currently changing the established definition of broadband to incorporate a lower standard. This action is being done to help the monopolistic, incumbent carriers we all have come to despise. They can claim that they are delivering broadband to millions more Americans by simply lowering the standard rather than attempt to make their networks more robust. This lack of acceptable broadband in flyover states continues to hurt your citizens in their attempt to take on innovation as only Americans can do. Disruptive technological innovation will happen where huge connectivity exists. All Americans should have this opportunity, not just where it was politically advantageous under Obama where carriers were subsidized to improve services.
In order for us to lead the world’s advancement in technology, we need all America working together. At this moment, and for the last decade, only Blue States and those economies have benefitted from any subsidies and improvement in internet services, only to the detriment of the Red States. A recent study done by the University of North Texas describes this deliberate slight; a way of punishing the economies of more conservative states. Your FCC leaders need to be made up of your choosing. Obama appointee, Tom Wheeler allowed this to happen and Ajit Pai continues on that theme, having been at FCC all during the Obama years. The current regime continues the deliberate economic abuse by throttling of vital internet capacities Red States. It takes seconds for someone in LA to do something on the internet while the same action takes minutes. Productivity suffers, thereby economies suffer. Innovation is voided.
The Internet of Things is upon us. Nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, biotech, robotics, renewable energy, electric vehicles and other sectors of the internet age must prosper. US startups are continuing to be at risk of failure simply because of zip code. Liberal, Austin, TX enjoys Gigabit services from any number of major carriers. Why is it that conservative Dallas and Houston have no chance of getting these services? Since your election, our major carriers have only announced availability of these services, although I haven’t seen provisioning, as yet. Mr. President, countries around the world are diligently working to create these previously-described technologies to the betterment of their economic development and global standing. Yet, none are better suited to lead these sectors than the United States. Yet, our carriers are allowed to stifle this.
Mr. President, my plea is that you recognize what has occurred in the “fly-over” states and give each of these areas the same fighting chance as a young entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley. With your leadership, with developers in every state given the same opportunity, we may jump ahead of foreign competition long after your tenure. Your impact on the state of the internet in this country is vital for the next generations of disruptive innovators. Please review and make immediate changes at the FCC. This will guard all Americans from the the steering of robust internet, and thereby, economic development only to areas which slant in the same direction of past leadership.
This is not intended to be a political statement, Mr. President. This is simply a reality that is obscured, yet clear to those of us in the tech sector. And in my opinion, it is a national security issue, longer term. Please put forth all efforts, bringing all Americans to a new standard in internet capacities. Why the US does not lead the world in available internet capacity is an absolute shame, as we indeed brought the world to the internet. Striving for mediocrity is not an option, so please do not let these purposeful policies continue. And I ask, do not let the FCC continue to play with definitions of the term “Broadband.” Lowering that definition may benefit our dominant carriers, but will not improve services already shameful in rural America and conservative areas of the US.
Bobby Vassallo, Dallas, TX USA