Renesys is still piecing together the data that can confirm or deny much of what was reported through the course of the day Sunday in Libya, but one thing is clear: something very strange was going on with Tripoli residents' Internet access.
Smart communities invest in themselves rather than depending on big, absentee corporations. Requiring Comcast to provide affordable broadband connections is better than not, but continuing to let Comcast effectively decide who can afford access to the Internet is madness.
Soaring telecommunication rates are straining already stressed public budgets, leading many cities to build networks for their own use. Rather than recognize that success, the telecom companies have spent years trying to eradicate local competition.
Understanding that the problem is in "the system" doesn't really help. Here's what it feels like: AT&T has the power to fix my Internet and make me happy. They don't. They won't. They don't care about me.
Wireless technologies present a real opportunity to uplift communities that have been economically marginalized since the Reconstruction Era -- both in providing new opportunity and enabling all Americans to access this opportunity.