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The New York City Hunger Games for Broadband

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"Are you a small business that wants high speed broadband in New York City? You're in luck! There's a competition available to get you just what you need. To compete, you must: 

  • Swim across the Hudson River in freezing water, chanting "I want my fiber",  holding onto your laptop at all times,
  • Pray to the gods to shine their light so you can beg to get some broadband. Offer them a goat as a sacrifice (Vegans can use turnips),
  • You must show why you really, really, really, need a broadband connection and demonstrate what the "potential impact of fiber on your business and the feasibility of fiber construction to your building."

This bit of sarcastic wit from guest Bruce Kushnick, Exec. Dir. of New Networks Institute, highlights a deadly serious problem: true highspeed Internet access that meets the needs of businesses and residences doesn't exist in many urban centers. Kushnick explains to listeners how they can meet and overcome this challenge, even if Katniss is too busy to help at the moment.   

Beginning with his take on new Mayor Bill de Blasio's initial steps to attack the problem in New York, Kushnick discusses how constituents there and elsewhere can leverage existing cable franchise agreements to try to counter some of the negative aspects of the announced Comcast/Time Warner merger. He also presents tactics for influencing local broadband policy, using incumbents cross-subsidization practices against them, and ultimately, doing whatever's possible to facilitate additional competitors with highspeed broadband into urban markets. 

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