Imagine being within a few miles of a major local TV station, yet being forced to pay a fee for cable or satellite services so you could receive the signals that were easily accessible to you for free. It might annoy you. It might seem unfair. Yet this is exactly whats happening with internet access in many parts of the country. The technology is readily available for making internet access free for a vast portion of the population.
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 cant afford internet access. Its also a political strategy.
Lets 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.
Lets 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 theyll come up with another solutionwelfare internetfor 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 accesswhat has become a basic communications tool that is almost necessary to function effectively in todays 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.
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.
Rob Kall Wikipedia Page
Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com
Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.
To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V.. and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table
Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. .
To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click here. Watch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.
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Rob's articles express his personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.