In a New Republic article, John B. Judis compared Susan Crawford’s focus on expanding access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet networks with Senator Elizabeth Warren and her pursuit of Wall Street financial reform.
Judis discusses Crawford’s book, Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, and the grassroots effort to convince President Obama she should be the next FCC chair:
“My name comes up in discussions about the new FCC chair. I’m on lists,” Crawford has said—but she expects the job to go to telecom entrepreneur and Obama bundler Tom Wheeler. “It’s obvious to me that they can’t [appoint me],” she told me. “The incumbents would go bananas.”
The article shares a little about Crawford’s personal background and how she came to follow the mantra, “Life is short, get in the way.” One part that resonated with us is this paragraph:
In 2009, Obama appointed Crawford the White House special assistant for science, technology, and innovation. It upsets her to talk about her time in government. “Every time I remember this White House stuff, it has a real effect on me,” she says. “You think that policy is going to be made on what the American people need, but what I was surprised by was how much of this was about reelection from the very beginning.” When she was asked to figure out how to spend stimulus money for broadband access, she had to resist suggestions to extend “crappy wireless through the country because that would look good in the reelection,” she says. “The idea that there was something different about Internet access as a market, that its quality would be available at a reasonable cost, that did not resonate in the White House.” She resigned after barely eight months.
Judis links to our Community Network Map, a tool Crawford cites on a regular basis. We hope to see more mainstream articles on Crawford and the muni movement as more people realize how local self-reliance can help cure our connectivity challenges.