Susan Crawford, professor of law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, wrote a piece for The New York Times in December about the benefits of wireline broadband access versus wireless in the effort to close the digital divide. Professor Crawford does a good job highlighting the benefits of wireline access versus the limited capacity of wireless broadband access.
Professor Crawford had me up to where she recommended government intervention in the broadband access market. I agree wholeheartedly that, depending on capacity demands and needs, a wireline connection is more conducive to productivity than a wireless connection.
Do we really need government intervention to incentivize consumers to become producers? Probably. We’ve used tax exemptions to get consumers to buy non-income producing assets such as houses and cars. We provide tax credits to companies for research and development. A fiscal policy approach would be preferable to a FCC promoted and enforced telecommunications policy.