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Should we tax content providers to fund broadband build-out?

How do we address surging bandwidth usage and bridge the digital divide in a country where tens of millions of families don’t have any high-speed access to the Internet at home – and everyone sees high prices often without the speeds for the most cutting edge uses of the Internet? Just this week, The Wall Street Journal highlighted how many low-income teens, a third of whom have no broadband at home, turn to places like McDonalds with free Wi-Fi to get their homework done. New money to bridge that gap is an obvious need cited by many political leaders, but the money needs to come from somewhere.

One question is whether content providers on the Internet like Netflix, Google and Facebook, who profit tremendously from the existence of a fast Internet, should be taxed to support the physical infrastructure supporting broadband?

The Right Embraces Sweden– and Misses the Point

There have been a number of stories this week around the online rightwing about how Sweden and the Nordic countries have moved right, probably inspired by this Economist story.  The story describes nations that seem hardcore Thatcherite: * Taxes have been cut: the corporate rate is 22%, far lower than America’s. * [Sweden’s]  budget deficit is […]