Synopses & Reviews
Ten years ago, the United States stood at the forefront of the Internet revolution. With some of the fastest speeds and lowest prices in the world for high-speed Internet access, the nation was poised to be the global leader in the new knowledge-based economy. Today that global competitive advantage has all but vanished because of a series of government decisions and resulting monopolies that have allowed dozens of countries, including Japan and South Korea, to pass us in both speed and price of broadband. This steady slide backward not only deprives consumers of vital services needed in a competitive employment and business market—it also threatens the economic future of the nation.
This important book by leading telecommunications policy expert Susan Crawford explores why Americans are now paying much more but getting much less when it comes to high-speed Internet access. Using the 2011 merger between Comcast and NBC Universal as a lens, Crawford examines how we have created the biggest monopoly since the breakup of Standard Oil a century ago. In the clearest terms, this book explores how telecommunications monopolies have affected the daily lives of consumers and America's global economic standing.
“Crawford shows us that the railroad barons of today run cable companies. These monopolies raise prices, stifle competition, and drag the U.S. further behind in global telecommunications revolution.”—Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
“Important and provocative.” —Sam Gustin, Time.com
“Federal regulatory agencies make definitional decisions in the lives of Americans. But they are little covered by our diminished media; and even when the stories are told, they tend to be told from the perspective of the powerful. Thats what makes Susan Crawfords book . . . so remarkable. She gets the facts straight—I know, because I was there. But she also does something just as important: she puts the facts in perspective, providing readers with an analysis that is essential if we are ever going to forge communications policies that serve all Americans." —Micheal J. Copps, Former FCC Chairman, The Nation
“With an appealing blend of earnestness and feistiness, Crawford is set on turning the sorry state of broadband and wireless services in the United States into the biggest populist outrage since Elizabeth Warren went after banks.” —John B. Judis, The New Republic
“Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age . . . offers a calm but chilling state-of-play on the information age in the United States. . . If you are looking for the answer to why much of the developed world has cheap, reliable connections to the Internet while America seems just one step ahead of the dial-up era, her office—or her book—would be a good place to find out.”—David Carr, The New York Times John B. Judis - The New Republic
“Crawford argues persuasively that the unchecked power of telecom giants has removed incentives for progress.”—Paul Krugman, The New York Times
Why Americans are paying much more and getting much less when it comes to Internet access
Why Americans are paying much more for Internet access,and getting much less
About the Author
Susan Crawford is a Professor at Cardozo Law School and an adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Crawford is also a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and a member of Mayor Michael Bloombergs Advisory Council on Technology and Innovation. Crawford has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and the University of Michigan, and serves on the boards of Public Knowledge and TPRC and as a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center at Harvard. She lives in New York City.