We have recently, repeatedly discussed how the China Virus freak out lockdown – has proven how important our Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are.
ISPs are the companies that connect us to the Internet. Since the Web’s privatization in the mid-1990s, they have invested well over $1 trillion in ever-building and ever-improving our networks’ performance and speed.
When the lock down went officially national, we predicted:
A week later – we had been borne out. And even as we type – we remain correct. Everyone in the US is Internet streaming like crazy – with nary a problem.
Meanwhile, the perpetually-vaunted-as-better-at-Internet-than-US Europe – not so much.
The US is Internet-ing freely and unfettered. The European Union (EU) is looking to ration broadband – and cut Web traffic by 25%.
You may wonder why the US is better at the Internet than Europe. Even though we have orders-of-magnitude more land to cover – and orders-of-magnitude more people to service (because each European country builds its own network).
The answer? Less government, natch.
Before the Virus Curtain was dropped upon the planet – we were in the midst of a global race to be first to 5G wireless.
“The entirety of the planet is working on building – and then building out – the Fifth Generation (5G) wireless network. 4G-to-5G – will be bigger than 1G-to-4G combined…and then some.
“Born will be the Internet of Things. Where everything non-sentient – becomes artificially sentient. Your car will talk to the road. The road will talk to the stoplight. Which will talk to the pedestrian light. Which will talk to….
“The massive amount of power and data 5G will represent – will dwarf-to-miniature everything wireless we have done before.
“The way the world works is: The first country to get to 5G – sets the global standards for 5G.
“This is, of course, a MASSIVE economic and security advantage – if it’s US. This is, of course, a MASSIVE economic and security catastrophe – if it’s Communist China.”
As the title indicates – we need “very good US policy.”
Which means exactly what it has always meant – less government.
Less government – is why we’re seamlessly handling the China Virus Shut Down. Less government – is what we need to lead the planet in 5G.
Wireless companies like AT&T and Verizon – are ISPs. Just like wired Comcast and Charter.
The 5G wireless Internet of Things – is the Internet.
The 4G wireless phone currently in your possession – is an Internet device. The app for making phone calls – is most likely the least used app on your “phone.”
You’re too busy watching video, surfing the Web and texting – to be bothered with calls.
The Internet – both wired and wireless – needs less government to optimally thrive.
Less government means no Net Neutrality – at all, anywhere.
As we’ve proven for the nigh entirety of the Net Neutrality-less Internet’s history – it ain’t necessary. And as we’ve seen vis-a-vis Europe – it substantially hinders the ability to optimally utilize the Internet.
Less Government means reasonable privacy laws – applied evenly and equally to ISPs and uber-data-hog Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook.
We emphasize: Because thus far most privacy laws are crony nightmare messes – that single out ISPs…and leave uber-data-hog Big Tech companies entirely alone. Equal protection before the law, please.
And when it comes to getting US first to 5G – we need…less government.
“Spectrum – is a finite resource. And all spectrum is not created equal. Some bands of spectrum are much more powerful and effective than others.
“Think of a Monopoly game board. Some spectrum is Boardwalk and Park Place – some is Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues…and all properties in between.
“And here’s the rub:
“Too Much Government, Too Little Spectrum:
“‘(G)uess who controls a majority of the best spectrum, the spectrum most suitable for mobile broadband? It’s the federal government itself. Almost 60 percent of that spectrum is in federal hands.
“‘Without a doubt, the federal government has legitimate needs for spectrum. The Department of Defense, for example, uses spectrum for radars.
“‘But it probably won’t surprise you to hear that the federal government doesn’t use much of the spectrum that it controls efficiently.
“‘Indeed, just last year, the Government Accountability Office reported that federal agencies do not focus on ensuring the best use of spectrum and need not justify their spectrum needs.
“‘Without any market or policy incentives to be ‘spectrally efficient,’ as we say in the business, it’s not a surprise that these agencies aren’t as nimble and innovative as is the private sector.
“‘It is unacceptable that about 60 federal agencies control more spectrum than is available to the hundreds of millions of Americans with wireless devices.
“‘As is the case in many other areas, the federal government can and should make do with less.’
“We all want ever-better Internet – with ever-better access.
“What We the Sane People know is – government is the far-and-away biggest impediment to those noble goals.
“We need government to as quickly as possible clear off of a whole bunch of the spectrum they hold – so it can then sell it to the private sector.”
So excellent government policy is – amongst other less government things – less government hogging of the vital, valuable and finite wireless spectrum.
Government needs to consolidate its stuff on it, clear off of as much of it as humanly possible – and get it as rapidly as possible to the private sector.
We can’t do 5G without it.
This first appeared in Red State.