Slide One (Title Page)
Internet for the Masses
Slide Two (Problem)
- Socio-economic disequilibrium, worldwide
- Rich getting richer, poor poorer
- Information and access controlled by the elite, perpetuates inequlity
Slide Three (Librarians are Hot)
They’re also the guardians of democracy!
Slide Four (Proposed Solution)
- Libraries Everywhere
- Internet as “Library”
- Democratizes Information
- Tax-supported or “subsidized” connectivity
- Many library systems (viz, King County, WA) already offer free wireless Internet onsite.
- Extends the Carnegie concept of affording ready access to information by the masses.
- WiFi, WiMax, or landline
- Low cost infrastructure piggybacks on existing (KCLS ISP, Crossroads Mall, light posts, munincipal loops)
- $80k initial cost for all of Redmond and ~$10k/year maintenance
- Continuous education is less expensive than than formal education and re-education programs.
- 5 years ago, $200 for a PCMCIA card, which today can be had for free
Slide Five (Arguments Against)
- Puts ISPs out of business
- Rebuttal: BS! Dale Carnegie and KCLS haven’t kept Amazon and Barnes and Noble from selling books.
- “Ghetto” users will use it for porn and gambling
- Rebuttal: True! And so will the “upper crust”. Equal access is nevertheless attained.
- Mitigation: Librarians control immutable homepage
- Ubiquitous Internet Access Will Hurt My Business
- Loiterering (e.g. Victor’s Coffee in Redmond)
- Rebuttal: 3G is coming and Internet loiterers along with it, no matter what
- Bandwidth-limiting over usage will hurt everyone
- Yes, unless we mitigate. Open access to businesses and individuals is critical.
- Rebuttal: upload/download limits are constitutional
Slide Six (Post-Presentation Notes)
- Contributors: Stuart Maxwell, Doug Dobbins, Matt Westervelt, Rob Flickenger, Liz Lawley, Jen Batten, Richard Lotz,
- Chicken and Egg – this will please the elite but not really diminish the Digital Divide (Liz) – Tax Dollars are scarce. Libraries are closing nationwide (CA). Make sure that some of the dollars go into training and other.
- Counter-argument: we won’t know until we do it!
- Rebuttal: ‘don’t build schools before you have teachers to fill them’,reduces transaction cost and saves poor people money (cuts out the check cashing businesses)
- Need to demonstrate civic engagement benefits
- Outside the US: India, Africa…success stories
- Children won’t get primary access to computers in households. Teachers must be taught how to teach children in schools.
- Need auxiliary resources for educational programs
- Opportunity for Collaboration with Emergency Services (Doug Dobbins) – Fed. Grants
- What is our measure of success? Do we need broad consensus on goals? Economic indicators…literacy…usage data…
- Library Taps are an under-utilized public resource
- Local Loops are an (often) under-utilized public resource
- Support idea by sending emails/letters to Secretary of State Sam Reed.
- Cable companies wield immense power in the State of Washington. Does this idea threaten the value of their “private” (unregulated) networks?
- Sidewalk Analogy – everyone is responsible for their own portion of the sidewalk as well as subsidizing the construction of “public” sections.
- We need to relate this to other utilities in an audience-specific way
- Water: people buy bottled water even though there is water everywhere, pipes into houses..
- People buy books in book stores despite the ubiquity of public libraries.
- Just like Seattle Power and Light: network owned by city but it’s part of the national grid. Once electricity passes to/from the grid, money changes hands.
- “Homeland Institute” opposes this idea
- What effect would ubiquitous connectivity have on transportation and mobility costs.
- Will “legitimize” what are currently gray market transactions by encouraging what were formerly garage sales to sites like eBay, Freecycle
- Rebuttal: craigslist gray market
- Research: Keith Hampton (MIT) – doctoral dissertation on neighborhood connectivity
- I want to meet this guy. Encourage Liz/Marc to bring him in to speak for MSR
- Encourages civic engagement, neighborhood connectedness (dramatic…counter-intuitive)