THE FIRST M.B.A. PRESIDENT
It looked for a while as if the United States was firmly entrenched as the world's leader in Internet innovation. President Bill Clinton and Al Gore, his vice president, did much to encourage development of the country's technology infrastructure, writes Thomas Bleha in an article accessible on the Foreign Affairs magazine Web site (www.foreignaffairs.org).
From the 1960's until the day President Bush took office, he writes, "The United States led the world in Internet development."
No longer. The Bush administration's policies, or lack thereof, have since allowed Asia - Japan in particular - to not only catch up in the development and expansion of broadband and mobile phone technology, but to roundly pound us into the dirt....
Japan is even further ahead in mobile telephony. "U.S. mobile phone service remains awful by European, let alone Japanese, standards," writes Mr. Bleha, who served as a Foreign Service officer in Japan for eight years and has a forthcoming book on the subject.
Meanwhile, Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries are poised to leap ahead of the United States in any number of areas: teleconferencing, telecommuting, remote medical services, distance education, multimedia entertainment.
The economy as a whole is at risk because of broadband shortcomings, says Charles H. Ferguson of the Brookings Institution (brookings.edu). Last year, he asserted in a book, "The Broadband Problem," that the United States might lose up to $1 trillion because of constraints on broadband deployment.
--New York Times
The Foreign Affairs article is here. The Brookings article is here.