Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Global Networked Economy 2.0


For several years now, I've reviewed the dozens of market research results that land in my email inbox each week, and then I post the ones that are most thought provoking to me -- here on my Digital Lifescapes blog.

Sometimes I insert my own perspective into the mix. Other times I reflect upon an event I've attended, or write about my personal experiences. A new blog post is the end result, and most are focused -- in some shape or form -- on the Global Networked Economy.

I continue to post content, and -- according to my Web site analytics and RSS feed stats -- more and more people apparently read the content. I never ask for feedback.

That is, until now.

Yes, these are unsettling times, given the global economic climate. I sense that we, the human race, are at a crossroads. What we, collectively, choose to do next will shape our shared future together on this planet. That's what I believe.

Now is a good time to consider how far we've progressed, on the home front. Many years ago, when Vint Cerf first introduced me to the Internet (when we both worked at MCI), I didn't realize at the time that I was about to embark upon a journey of learning that would change my life.

Back in 2001, before this blog was created, I was compelled to write a commentary entitled "Broadband Policy: Lessons Learned, the U.S. Interstate Highway System." The column was syndicated to mainstream media, and the market coverage in both the technology and government sectors was extensive.

Although the idea behind the infrastructure comparison was intended as a call to action in the U.S., the feedback I received came mostly from policymakers in Asia-Pacific and Scandinavian countries. They responded to the notion that telecom infrastructure and economic development were intertwined. And, more importantly, they invested in their future.

Meanwhile, as the years passed, the U.S. global ranking -- as a broadband enabled nation -- continued to spiral downward. Of course, there were debates on the topic, government task forces were formed, white papers were written, and judgmental fingers were pointed at the FCC, congress and ultimately the President.

That said, in the face of the current financial crisis that's apparently unprecedented in the history of the United States of America, perhaps it's the wrong time to raise this topic once again. Regardless, I believe the need for decisive action has never been greater, and the consequences of continued inaction more detrimental to the nation's future.

Therefore, my question for you is this -- does the Tech sector have the right leadership championing this strategic cause, and do they have a compelling storyline?