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Beyond Broadband AccessDeveloping Data-Based Information Policy Strategies$
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Richard D. Taylor and Amit M. Schejter

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251834

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251834.001.0001

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“Rulers of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens”

“Rulers of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens”

Does Democracy Count?

(p.113) Chapter 7 “Rulers of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens”
Beyond Broadband Access

Amit M. Schejter

Fordham University Press

This chapter denounces the hypercommercialization of the information network and its control by private interests using the marketplace metaphor. It argues that government policy should adopt a justice-based metaphor instead, and focus on quantifying the amount of democratic opportunity created, after reaching consensus on the definition of democratic participation. The chapter begins with an overview of broadband Internet within the context of democracy and its importance in the promotion of social and democratic goals before offering an alternative theoretical framework for evaluating the “success” of broadband policy and creating a measure for “democratic capacity.” It then introduces a vision of broadband as an essential facilitator of democratic discourse and considers some recent attempts made by governments to rethink “development” in non-economic terms. Finally, it discusses the non-economic goals set by the National Broadband Plan in comparison with its quantifiable goals.

Keywords:   hypercommercialization, information network, democratic participation, broadband, Internet, democracy, broadband policy, democratic capacity, development, National Broadband Plan

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