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On Not Knowing What We’re Missing

Currently, about 80 percent of Americans do not have a passport.  So the vast majority of Americans have never experienced something as radical as, say, cell phones untethered to a particular carrier.  (Just try and visualize a mobile that can do something as advanced as let you know how many minutes you’ve already used in a given billing period!  As long as the big carriers have veto power over handsets, visualization is about as far as you’re likely to get.)
A USA Today story gives this eye-opening comparison of download speeds around the world:

The median U.S. download speed now is 1.97 megabits per second — a fraction of the 61 megabits per second enjoyed by consumers in Japan, says the report released Monday. Other speedy countries include South Korea (median 45 megabits), France (17 megabits) and Canada (7 megabits).

Well, I guess we’ll at least always be number one in corporate political speech. According to David Weinberger, “in 2006 the carriers spent $1.4 million per week lobbying against” net neutrality alone.  It’s extraordinary how interconnected these two issues may become.
Hat Tip: Law Librarian Blog.