Americans today spend almost as much on bandwidth — the capacity to move information — as we do on energy. A family of four likely spends several hundred dollars a month on cellphones, cable television and Internet connections, which is about what we spend on gas and heating oil.
Wu blames this on a bandwidth cartel, which is largely fair. And he hints that the solution to the problem might lie in the fact that Americans also own vast amounts of hugely valuable, but largely unused, electromagnetic spectrum. Working out a safe and fair way of effectively utilizing that spectrum is a crucial priority which no one seems to care much about.