Bloomberg Contributor Urges Government Regulation, Ownership of Broadband

“We need to recapture the regulatory ideal. That ideal is that regulation of infrastructure, government intervention, makes free markets and free speech possible.” Susan Crawford said at the National Conference for Media Reform. The gathering of left-wing media activists and media ran from April 5-7 in Denver. The group Free Press, which sponsored the conference, has received over $1.6 million in Soros funding since 2004. 

Crawford, a Bloomberg contributor and former White House Technology Adviser, claimed that “this regulatory ideal unleashes human ingenuity; it's pro-competition, pro-growth, pro-innovation.” (Government – is there anything it can’t do?)

Crawford seems to think that she is the best hope for the FCC in standing up to the specter of unregulated free enterprise, and used this speech to promote her bid for FCC chair. Several liberal groups have been urging her nomination, but so far, the White House is not considering her name. She blamed that on the administration being afraid of internet providers. “They have to worry about what the telecom industry would think of me,” she said.

According to Crawford, America’s deregulated internet has made it a laughingstock in abroad. “Globally, we're also in a hole. We’re in the middle of the pack at best, meanwhile, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, they’ve all got policies making sure that reasonably priced fiber to the home reaches every single one of their citizens, for 30 or 40 bucks a month. America is laughed at, laughed at,” in these broadband utopias, according to Crawford. “In South Korea they treat coming to America like taking a rural vacation. Life is sweet and slow here, because connectivity is so slow and so expensive.” 

The fix, of course, is government regulation of the internet. But here’s the problem: the internet isn’t unregulated. And there’s even a National Broadband Plan to provide more affordable access. 

Crawford went on to claim that the lack of regulation in this country was hurting people. “This country is supposed to be the land of opportunity. But we are being left behind, and a time when information is power, when our intellect as a country is our source of strength. Internet access is like oxygen, it's necessary for life. But some people are breathing clean air and others in our country are deprived. They don't even realize how deprived they are. We're harming schoolchildren; we're causing suffering for future generations.”

Crawford finished up her speech with the very Orwellian statement that “it is government's role to stand up against the ethic that might makes right.”

Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a staff writer for the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute.