90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Bandwidth Crunch

A laptop and iPhone at a coffee shop in Columbia, Mo., in a 2009 photo. (AP)

Fire up your Internet connection or your iPhone in this country, and you are immediately in the middle of a battle over bandwidth.

The United States is trailing many competitors in the speed and ease of connection to the Web. France leaves us in the dust. South Korea leaves us deep in the dust.

And it’s not just about how easily the kids can play online games. The Internet is the base terrain of the 21st-century economy. If you’re fast, you’re in front. If you’re slow, you’re behind.

Now the U.S. is looking at a plan to catch up.

This hour, On Point: American choke point — Internet bandwidth.

Guests:

Joining us from Washington is Cecilia Kang, technology policy reporter for The Washington Post and author of its blog Post Tech.

From Steamboat Springs, Colo., we’re joined by Tim Wu, professor of law at Columbia University. His piece “Bandwith is the New Black Gold,” appears in the March 11 edition of Time magazine. He’s a regular contributor to Slate, and is the coauthor, along with Jack Goldsmith, of “Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World.”

And from Washington we’re joined by Robert Atkinson, founder and president of Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based Internet policy lobbying organization. He is former vice president of the the Progressive Policy Institute and the author of “The Past and Future of America’s Economy: Long Waves of Innovation that Power Cycles of Growth.”

Later this hour, we look at the move by cash-strapped states to tax online purchases.  An increasing number of states are trying to collect money any way they can, including on sales taxes from online purchases. New York is doing it now. Many other states are trying to follow in its footsteps.

Joining us from San Francisco is Geoffrey Fowler. He covers technology and e-commerce for The Wall Street Journal.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

 
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
Comment
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment