But greedy internet providers are lobbying, successfully, in many states, to make it illegal to provide this free internet access. This is not only an economic attack on the many poor people who can 't afford internet access. It 's also a political strategy.
Let 's face it. The national mainstream media have become lackeys for the right wing and the theocorporate power base that has taken over the USA. The best way for the minority party to communicate to the people is through the internet.
Cutting off internet access, or effectively doing that by making it unaffordable is a powerful way to weaken the political message, to manage the uniformity and continuity of the news that is really the message of the right wing.
There is no good excuse for state representatives to support the local cable or phone companies who are doing the bulk of the lobbying to curtail free internet access. If your state has already passed these outrageous laws blocking free internet, you can still write to your representatives to tell them you want the law changed. If your state has not yet passed such a law, you can be sure that the local commercial interests are lobbying hard to get the laws passed. You must contact your representatives and tell them how important it is to you that the internet be made available free.
Let 's get back to regular cable and satellite TV. Since close to 80% of the US population resides in close range to the top 50 metropolitan media markets, that means that 80% of the population could be getting their TV free. Yet the cable and satellite TV providers are doing plenty of business. People pay for the extra features that cable and satellite provide.
The same model could apply to internet service providers. States and municipalities could provide basic wi-fi internet access free and then people could pay to upgrade to get faster services and other extras, just as people pay extra for cable services. This could be very good for technology, since it will take innovation to come up with attractive, creative features that people will pay extra for. . Or maybe they 'll come up with another solution --welfare internet --for low income people who financially qualify.
The airwaves are part of the commons. The underground lines the cable companies use depend upon access to the publicly owned commons. We have the right to take back the licenses that have been granted to the cable companies and satellite providers if they get too greedy. It is reasonable to use the airwaves commons to provide free internet access --what has become a basic communications tool that is almost necessary to function effectively in today 's world.
The internet has become a major part of the media, a major way for people to get access to information. Yet the right wing has turned too much of the media into a toxic weapon. We must protect the internet and set it free. Anything less is a threat to freedom and democracy.