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
Sep 3, 2015
A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision of the Federal Reserve, on July 29, 2015. The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates soon. (Richard Drew/AP)

Should the Fed finally raise interest rates? In spite of the stock market roller coaster? We’ll dig into the Fed weighing the end of free money.

Sep 3, 2015
Journalists protest the murder of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa Becerril in Mexico City, on Aug. 2, 2015. (Marco Ugarte/AP)

Three Vice News journalists arrested in Turkey. A wave of journalists in prison. In graves. We’ll look at journalists worldwide under pressure.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 2, 2015
Actor Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar, in the Netflix Original Series "Narcos." (Daniel Daza/Netflix via AP)

A new Netflix series “Narcos” takes on the story of the rise of the “King of Cocaine” — Pablo Escobar. We’ll look at drug trafficking then and now.

 
Sep 2, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley addresses the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone/AP)

We talk to Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor and now Democratic candidate for the presidency. He’s been tough on Trump – and on his fellow Democrats.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Martin O’Malley On The ‘Rigged’ Democratic Debates, And What America Needs
Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015

Former Baltimore mayor and Democratic Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has single digits in the polls in Iowa but is out there swinging. He joined host Tom Ashbrook on Wednesday.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments