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Who Do You Want Setting Up the Next Internet? The United States - or China?
“(T)he constitutional division of power between U.S. state governments and the federal government of the United States.”
Unfortunately, this is too true:
“Since the founding of the country, and particularly with the end of the American Civil War, power shifted away from the states and towards the national government.”
We’ve discussed this awfulness before:
The amazing thing about rightly-applied federalism - is it almost always results in less government. God bless the Founding Fathers.
Even when the proper government to provide oversight - is the federal government.
As indicated in the above headline, immigration is quite obviously the purview of the federal government:
“(I)mmigration…is so obviously a federal government issue. If Canada were to invade via Montana (I will pause to allow to recede the laughter that concept will invariably cause…) - it is not solely the responsibility of Montana to repel the invasion.
“Our national sovereignty has been violated – because our national borders have been violated. Thus a national response is required.
“When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor – we didn’t leave Hawaii to fend for itself.”
So “sanctuary" states, counties and cities - are titanically unconstitutional.
The World Wide Web is also quite obviously a federal government responsibility. Because it is a WORLD Wide Web.
Meaning the federal government should determine American Internet policy - and then go abroad to negotiate our Internet interactions with the world’s other nations.
Which means nonsense like this - is titanically unconstitutional:
Well, behold our NATIONAL race to implement 5G (Fifth Generation) wireless Internet.
The 5G Internet of Things - will be a quantum leap forward from where we are now. One to TEN gigabits of speed per SECOND - wirelessly to your devices. Which opens up nigh limitless possibilities - that simply boggle the mind.
And the way the world works is: The country that gets first to 5G - gets to make the worldwide rules for 5G. The US arrived first at 4G - so we set the standards for the planet.
Setting the rules for 5G - is even, exponentially more important. Because of how all-encompassing 5G will be.
And it’s a two nation race.
So it’s either Gandalf - or Sauron. I can’t imagine too many people on the planet think totalitarian, censorious China winning the race to run the Web is a very good thing. I hope none of them are here in the US.
Which brings us back to federalism - rightly defined. Again, this is a NATIONAL race to 5G - against other nations (well, really just one). Thus the federal government absolutely should be setting our standards.
And as an additional benefit - this will result domestically in much less government.
All across the nation, local governments abuse the living daylight out of the build out our wireless (and wired) Internet infrastructure.
Our Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have spent the last quarter century spending more than ONE TRILLION DOLLARS building and expanding our Internet network. And ALMOST HALF of that massive money - went not to improving our size, speed and service…but to governments.
“These (government) incumbents - the real monopolists - also have the final say on whether an ISP can build a network. They determine what hoops an ISP must jump through to get approval.
“This reduces the number of potential competitors who can profitably deploy service.… The lack of competition makes it easier for local governments and utilities to charge more for rights of way and pole attachments.
“It’s a vicious circle…(A) system of forced kickbacks….(also) includ(ing) ISPs…building out service where it isn’t demanded, donating equipment, and delivering free broadband to government buildings….
“Local governments and their public utilities charge ISPs far more (for building rights) than these things actually cost. For example, rights of way and pole attachments fees can double the cost of network construction….”
Emphasis ours - because what we emphasized is that important.
ISPs face tens of thousands of local government shakedowns nationwide. They have their pockets picked - and their build-outs delayed, and delayed, and DELAYED - every time they try to serve us better.
It’s a miracle we beat China to 4G. We must do things better - if we are to beat China to 5G.
Which is exactly what the Donald Trump Administration is looking to do.
The administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has already rid us of the massively-Internet-impeding Net Neutrality.
And is now looking to streamline the wireless Internet build out process - and in the process minimize the massive government shakedowns to which ISPs have for so long been subjected.
Yes, the FCC proposes “preemption” - because the concept of Constitutional federalism requires preemption.
Yet again, this is a NATIONAL race for 5G - which means the NATIONAL government should lead on policy.
Now, what is a “small cell?” The old wireless towers - were towers. Tall - and huge. The local government fees for these towers - were also huge.
5G “small cell” “towers” - aren’t towers. They are each about the size of a pizza box. A crew can attach and set one entirely up - in about an hour. But they are “small cell.” To make 5G work - you need to emplace LOTS of “small cell” antennas.
Local governments - have been licking their fee-imposing chops. And they have been charging huge tower fees - for pizza box-sized small cell “towers.”
So the Trump FCC is looking to cap the titanic sums local governments have been squeezing out of ISPs for a quarter century - as we move forward towards 5G.
Which means much less money will go to governments…and much more money will go into, you know, actually building out our 5G network.
The FCC proposal also caps how long local governments can make ISPs wait for permission to build out:
“(The FCC rule) creates two new categories of shot clocks for small cell wireless facility review. Local governments would have 60 days to complete review of applications for collocated small cells, and 90 days for small cells on new structures.”
This also makes a whole lot of sense.
There have been may instances when local governments have taken YEARS to make these decisions. (And then - after ALL that waiting - saying No.)
God bless the Trump Administration FCC for addressing this. (They should also, not incidentally, do this exact same thing for wired ISPs - as soon as is humanly possible.)
We need to get much leaner, much cheaper - and much faster.
Which means one light-touch federal government policy.
Rather than tens of thousands of ham-handed, pocket-picking local government policies.
Because we really, REALLY need to beat China to 5G.
This first appeared in Red State.