Policy 101: Seek Information First, Then Act

December 30th, 2008

Posted by: admin

There’s a report from Wired.com’s Epicenter blog reflecting a failure to follow basic common sense for effective policy.  Several groups are advocating for even more money for broadband deployment than the Obama administration intends to have in its economic stimulus plan.  Apparently the wrinkle here is that there is very little, if any, public information on how many currently have broadband, and how much they pay for it.  There are other related questions that are hard to answer – unless you are one of the companies providing the service.  But that information is also not publicly available.  If you read the blog entry, you’ll find that reporting requirements were recently reduced, making it harder to effectively judge how to invest that broadband money.  This is the same data problem we currently have with TARP funds, except in that case, there’s no information (or requirements to produce it) on how that money is being spent.  Here we don’t have the information needed to effectively invest money.  Either way, the chances for effective policy drop precipitously.

Comments are closed.