Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats propose a National Public Wireless Internet

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Despite the controversies that surround continued public support for the NPR/CPB there is much talk in Washington nowadays about creating a public funded, yet potentially politically controlled national Internet wireless network. The network will be funded from allocating some of the proceeds from auctioning new swaths of the spectrum for commercial Internet services.

While the United States has one of the most advanced and competitive wireless industries in the world, the Obama Administration wants to create a public corporation similar to institutions like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to manage and operate the wireless network.  Some inside the White House, according to sources, also support having the government-owned and managed wireless network competing in the marketplace against companies like AT&T and Verizon.

“Some people want the network to only be used by public safety and first responders,” says a White House source with knowledge of the thinking of several senior Obama Administration officials involved in the discussions. “But we’re talking about a network that could also be used for commercial purposes, especially in parts of the country where people don’t have broadband services.  So these folks could do things like access the Internet, stream movies, and do the kinds of things most other Americans pay AT&T and Verizon to do, but you’d expect that as the government, we’d be able to offer those services at considerably cheaper prices.”

Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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