THE BLOG
09/29/2010 09:46 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Would You Rather Have Waffles or a Better Education?

While Mark Zuckerberg spends his money on helping the next generation of Internet entrepreneurs get educated, Free Press buys waffles.

This week has been a significant one in the world of education. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook pledged $100 million to the school system of Newark, NJ. Mayor Cory Booker has been in the media talking about the challenges they face in that city.
Mark Zuckerberg's gesture shows the full circle evolution of an entrepreneur in the Internet age. He oversaw the development of a start-up to a large-growth company and was then in the position to give back to the community, thus equipping others for success. I've always said that if the groups that spend so much time talking about helping and protecting the youth of this country actually focused their efforts on action and implementation, then we would see some real change.

With that thought in mind, I was disappointed to read the story about how the so-called "public interest" group Free Press decided to spend their money on distributing waffles one morning last week in an effort to make a media statement in front of the offices of the FCC. As I think about the vast dollars spent on stunts like this, as well as the full-page ad they placed in the Washington Post a few months ago in the interest of "protecting the people," I think about the number of kids that could have received donated computers for that money; or how many homes that could have been connected to high-speed Internet and education on the benefits of broadband.

But sadly that did not happen. I'm not an expert in how things "work" in DC, but I hope that the FCC sees this as an act of desperation from people who have yet to really prove a case for their actions, intentions or stance. What has been proven is the need for all Americans to have access to the best resources -- online resources -- and if we can make sure that broadband internet is available and adopted in the inner cities, then we are moving forward in the right direction.

In cities like Newark children will be able to see firsthand the real possibility of a better education, now imagine closing that loop by allowing them to be able to come home and use the Internet to extend that learning and work, perhaps becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg.

I sincerely hope the FCC didn't get swayed by the grandstanding tactics served with those waffles. I have said it before, and I will say it again, we all must keep the focus on implementing the National broadband plan.

And, as far as Free Press goes, thanks for the waffles, but I actually like French toast and less manipulation with my breakfast.