In typical ‘lame’-stream media fashion, USA Today’s lead editorial on Wednesday used misleading statistics to bemoan the fact that the United States is No. 17 among 30 of the world’s leading countries in “broadband availability and usage.”
The piece is full of the same old tired arguments we have heard about the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger, which would greatly benefit a rural state like Kentucky.
Fortunately, USA Today still allows a differing view to be expressed once in awhile. Answering the call on this broadband issue is Jim Lakely, our colleague at the Chicago-based Heartland Institute.
Lakely writes that when “households” rather than just “person” are compared, and when “gigabytes used per month — a better measure of the speed and utility networks” are considered, “the USA has nearly lapped Western Europe once and Asia twice.”
While the USA Today position is that America should follow the model of other countries, where government dictate broadband policies, Lakely forcefully opines: “America is doing fine — and would do even better if government would stop trying to micromanage the digital economy.”
The outcome of this whole debate directly impacts Kentucky.
In a recent Bluegrass Beacon column urging FCC approval of the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger, I quote former Virginia Democratic congressman Rick Boucher, honorary chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance, who said approving the proposed merger would result in broadband access coming to 97 percent of all Americans with “4G” service that “will arrive at data speeds rivaling the fastest wired connections today.”
Imagine what that could do for the economy in Kentucky, where according to an analysis of federal data by The Daily Yonder, only 29 percent of the 65,135 farms have access to high-speed broadband Internet service.