WTF! China Hawks Want 5G Gov Net. Ain’t Gonna Happen

Navarro 230White House nuclear expert Gen. Robert S. Spalding II and Steve Bannon’s guy Peter Navarro shocked D.C. with a serious plan to build a national 5G network in 400 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum.

Even “progressive” Democrats like Jessica Rosenworcel and Colin Crowell immediately asserted the government building a 5G would be a mistake. Conservatives like Pai were vehement in their objections. A government-built 5G network is politically impossible even if the plan were a good one. 

WTF is going on?  Spalding and Navarro are hardline Chinaphobes. The illustration of the knife through the United States is from Navarro’s Death By China. I suspect these guys think Nixon made a mistake recognizing China in 1973.

5G higher frequencies don’t have the same reach so it’s probably right to build only one or two networks.

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Newark Could Be the Largest U.S. Muni Broadband Network

Ras J. BarakaMayor Ras Baraka vows to compete with powerful telecoms

The nearly 300,000 people in Newark will soon have gigabit fiber from the city, Baraka promises. Verizon for almost two decades has failed to honor a pledge to bring 45 megabit fiber to all New Jersey. They received a major rate increase in return for that pledge, then welshed. Bruce Kushnick has calculated what Verizon collected from the rate increase would have covered the fiber cost many times over.

Newark, once a great city, continues to struggle to overcome poverty. A great Internet, provided by the city at low cost, could be a powerful tool. They are targeting a price of under $50. Mark Kaufman in Mashable reports they have over 20 miles of city-owned fiber. That fiber is already being used for the city and commercial customers.

“The power is ours,” Baraka says

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Historic: Facebook Will Pay Taxes and Internet Tolls in Korea

Martin  KCC 230Mark Zuckerberg is trying to be a mensch, a mutual friend tells me. He’s deeply committed to connecting everyone.

Kevin Martin of Facebook met the Minister in Korea and agreed “to report revenue and pay taxes” in Korea. In addition, they will probably pay “network fees” to the three big Korean telcos. Korea has allowed their telcos to erect “toll barriers” on the net, what Net Neutrality was supposed to prevent in the U.S.

Korea is enormously proud of having probably the best Internet in the world. The Korean government, under pressure from the three big telcos, does not have a policy of neutrality. 

Tax avoidance is a huge issue around the world, especially as the Internet becomes a larger part of every economy. Facebook and Google are collecting tens of billions. often from poor countries, but neither paying taxes nor obeying local laws. Europe is the most visible resister, but the feelings are strong in Africa and Asia. “You Americans are so greedy,” an African said to me at the WCIT in 2012.

News reports in December were that Facebook was changing its policies. They would now pay taxes where they earn income. Korea is the first official agreement.

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Pai, Speaking of Immigration, Put His Career on the Line

Paistudents“My love and reverence for this country comes from living in the house of Raj and Radha Pai. My parents know a little something about the American Dream. They came to this country 46 years ago with literally no assets other than $10, a transistor radio, and a desire to achieve that dream.” Pai is a brilliant lawyer steeped in politics. He surely realized his job could disappear if Trump noticed the speech Pai gave in honor or Ronald Reagan.

Pai will go down in history as a man who killed Net Neutrality, or tried to. There’s more to him than that, including the courage to stand up for his very strong beliefs.

He’s wrong in many of those beliefs: AT&T has made clear that killing neutrality will not lead to the increase in investment Pai expects. T-Mobile & Verizon will build in 3.5 Ghz spectrum without the concessions Pai is about to give them; much, probably most, of the money he thinks will go to expanding broadband is wasted.

But he’s right that immigrants should not be scapegoats.  

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