Have you ever thought why you and so many others you know enjoy access to the internet but then wondered why so many others don’t? That question leads to many other questions such as, why is such a wonderful technology not available to all. Or who controls which areas get connectivity and which areas don’t? Most of these questions more or less have the same answer. The telecommunication industry after investing in buying licensed spectrum rights and building up infrastructure to use technology such as 3G and 4G networks, broadband services ranging from DSL (Direct Subscriber Line), cable and fiber optics connections. Such technology development is done in by the telecom industry in order to provide a service to the public which they can choose to buy and use. Furthermore, this also allows the companies to use their unique position as an established entity in the market to influence and control the information and communication market.
This is where lobbying comes into the picture. The act of lobbying is to attempt to influence decisions made by government officials so that they give preference to the lobbyist and the people he/she represents. Government officials are appointed to serve the public and lobbying takes them away from that duty and responsibility. The general public does not have the money to counter lobby against these lobbyist who have a lot of money to spare for influence that will bring them larger profits if they succeed in lobbying.
For example, in America for the year of 2014, the telecommunication services and equipment industry spent over $99.3 million lobbying, which is less than the $108 million in the year earlier. That is an insane amount of money used for the purpose of just trying to influence legislators and regulators to do what they want to do for their profits. That amount of money can be used to improve infrastructure of the existing networks and to provide better quality service to the customers, however, the priority is always profits. Therefore, corporations will never be able to provide the masses with a product that is as good as the price they have to pay for it. Making money is their goal rather than building and sustaining the quality of their service. That is why as long as we use the licensed spectrum through the companies that buy them and sell products that they create through the technologies that use those spectrums, we will suffer high cost and never have control over the connectivity that we need.
The unlicensed spectrum is the way forward in order to effectively make the lobbying efforts of telecommunication companies null and void as counter lobbying them would be a waste of resource as we can divert and concentrate using the resources in creating a network for all using the free spectrum and giving access to the oppressed. This will bridge the digital divide and progress onto completely obliterating the gap between the connected and the disconnected.