05 August 2011

Socialize the Internet

According to recent reports, the United States Postal Service is on its way to losing $3 billion in the third quarter of 2011. The loss is being attributed primarily to declining First Class Mail revenue.

Observers say the internet is making First Class mail obsolete. Email and online payments have replaced letters and mailed checks and that diminishes First Class Mail revenue. That makes sense but knowing it doesn't really solve the problem. Until everyone in America has access to reliable high speed internet service, we will need the Post Office. Someone will have to deliver the letters and payments those without broadband will have to send.

It would be nice if we could find a way to make sure every American has access to broadband. Unfortunately, with right wing zealots and ideological extremists in control of so much of the political process, we're unlikely ever to have universal access to reliable high speed internet services. Right wing legislators are little more than stooges for the plutocracy. The plutocracy owns America's internet service providers and they're never going to allow the ISP's revenue to be threatened by the one thing that can solve our communication problem, publicly owned broadband.

Every year we read of a law being rammed through a state legislature somewhere to prohibit a town or county from starting its own broadband service. Most recently it happened in North Carolina. As soon as the ISPs claimed their revenue would be threatened by public internet, the stooges in the NC legislature leapt to the feet, saluted and said they would pass a law to prohibit the protection of the public interest in favor of protecting the profits of the plutocracy. And they did. House Bill 129 prohibits public internet in favor of private profiteering.

So what's the solution? One good way to fill the public's broadband need and to solve the Post Office's revenue problem would be to socialize internet service under the control of the Post Office. No private firm would be allowed to offer broadband. It would become a public utility. That would replace declining First Class Mail revenue with nomial broadband access fees. An added benefit would be ensuring fair prices for every American rather than letting the cyber-pirate ISPs rob them. It would be a win-win.

1 comment:

  1. Do you mean besides the free public access found at your local library?

    What about at airports, Starbucks, McDonald's or any number of other capitalistic businesses predominately found in low income urban areas that offer access for free?

    If the post office can't manage its own finances, what makes you think they could manage the internet? Suggesting the post office should take over the ISP's is like saying that horse and buggy company's should have taken over the auto industry or VHS should have taken over DVDs.

    Cable and Satellite companies are starting to lose customers fast, as the new generation don't feel the need for a hefty bill when they can just watch their programming online for "free". Switching from programming to ISP is the only way they will survive. Otherwise they will be next on the obsolete list.

    The postal system is outdated but not yet obsolete, only due to the fact that the post office has a capitalistic monopoly on first class mail (USPS has exclusive access to letter boxes). How about we just reduce the number of days the mail is delivered. Two - Three times a week and everyone would still get their mail, maybe just a few days later then previous.