90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:

Low-Speed, High-Priced Broadband

 Comcast logos are displayed on installation trucks in Pittsburgh. (AP)

Comcast logos are displayed on installation trucks in Pittsburgh. (AP)

A handful of American cable companies have a stranglehold on high-speed internet service, says telecom expert Susan Crawford. That monopoly leads to slower speeds, higher prices, and less competition. We’ll talk about how we got here and what we can do about it.


Susan Crawford, professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She has served as President Barack Obama’s Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy and is a columnist for Bloomberg View. She’s the author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.


Bloomberg “How to Give the U.S. Ultrafast Internet

Forbes “Big Broadband’s Secret Plan to Deliver Wildly Popular Content and Apps to Happy Consumers

Here’s Crawford taling about the telecom monopoly at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • J__o__h__n

    We need municipal internet.  At best there is a choice of two providers in Boston.  Either have real capitalism or don’t. 

    Why no discount for urban residents where it is less expensive to install internet?  We get hit twice for paying more than is needed to provide service to us and also have to subsidize rural internet. 

    • Acnestes

      It is real capitalism.  Suck as much out of the consumer as possible and eat the wounded.

      • J__o__h__n

        Agreed but that isn’t what the companies claim when they are threatened with municipal internet. 

  • Larshamon

    More fiber….good for the national comm diet!

  • http://twitter.com/KseniaL Ksenia

    I studied abroad in Syndey, Australia in 2010. Internet was super expensive and so slow. We paid per usage not per month. As we neared the end of our allotted amount it got SO slow. Skyping was impossible. Uploading images to facebook would have taken all our data for a month. It was a mess. We ended up just using the university lab. All the Aussies I worked and studied with complained about the internet speed. It was even a huge issue in the campaign season that year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markhgiese Mark Giese

    This is very similar to the situation we had with Railroads in the 19th century.  “Common Carriage” laws should apply to this situation.

  • Chuck Penn

    In Chattanooga, TN we have fiber supplied by the local electric provider.  The base speed is 50Mbps and can get up to 1Gbps

  • J__o__h__n

    She shouldn’t have said the FCC board in bed with industry are not “bad guys.”  Yes they are.  Unless there is public shame for furthering their careers instead of serving the public, it won’t stop. 

  • David

    Please correct the incorrect on-air statement re. Verizon FIOS being blocked from entering a community due to local regulations. In Peabody, Verizon and their resellors have been misleading prospective customers for awhile. We in Peabody welcome competition and wish the ISP providers would be honest with consumers.

  • AmanaPlan

    Some good notes about what needs to be regulated in the transition of phone lines from copper to VOIP are at http://tales-of-the-sausage-factory.wetmachine.com/shutting-down-the-phone-system-five-fundamentals-framework-for-managing-the-pstn-transition/   Very related to the issues of consumer protections for internet access.

  • Truthspew

    Right at this moment I am actively planning with my city councilor to roll out a public WiFi MESH network. And I intend to put a shot across Verizon and Cox’s bow on this one. 

Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

  • Listen: Weekdays, 3 p.m. on 90.9 FM
  • Live Call-In: (800) 423-TALK
  • Listener Voicemail: (617) 358-0607
Most Popular
This site is best viewed with: Firefox | Internet Explorer 9 | Chrome | Safari